Powder Predictor

Winter returns to Vail Valley as cold Arctic air welcomes February

Aspen/Snowmass could be in the mix again

By Reid Griebling
Real AspenJanuary 30, 2011
Another curve ball from the weather gods as models showed strong high pressure just last week, and now winter returns. Frigid temps to be expected Tuesday, Feb. 1, as a surface low will impact the Western Slope early Monday and remain through the day, giving Colorado a quick shot at snow.

The real story is the associated cold front dropping just behind as Arctic air will dominate mid week with heavy bands of snow expected Monday night into Tuesday.

Expect on-mountain highs for Monday in the 20s, with brisk west to southwest winds, with around 2-4 inches on the ground. The real fun starts Monday night as a cold front will overtake the low and spark at times heavy snow showers overnight Monday.

Tuesday we still see unsettled weather, with on-mountain highs barley hitting zero degrees Fahrenheit. Winds will be light but noticeable as windchill values will drop well below freezing for Tuesday and Wednesday. Expect 3-6 inches for the Tuesday morning report for Vail/Beaver Creek, with Aspen/Snowmass in the 4-7 range.

Overnight lows will be in the negative teens for Tuesday and Wednesday, with light winds and some lingering snow showers Tuesday night.

These frigid temps will remind us of what we saw just two weeks ago, so expect any snow on the ground to be "squeaky" and hard to get through. The warm-up begins Thursday, with another round of snow expected by the weekend. A welcome change to what many forecasters thought would be a quiet and dry two weeks.

Overall, a great start to February, as this first storm could drop nearly a foot in some of the central mountain areas, including Aspen/Snowmass and Crested Butte. We shall wait and see; for now, get the boot heaters cranked and make sure the gas tank in the car is full.


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Snow Report

  24hr snow mid dpth snow cond.
A-Basin n/a n/a
Aspen n/a n/a closed
BC n/a n/a closed
Breckenridge n/a n/a closed
Buttermilk n/a n/a closed
Copper n/a n/a closed
Crest. Butte n/a n/a closed
Eldora n/a n/a closed
Heavenly n/a n/a closed
Highlands n/a n/a
Howelsen n/a n/a closed
Keystone n/a n/a closed
Kirkwood n/a n/a closed
Loveland n/a n/a
Monarch n/a n/a closed
Northstar n/a n/a closed
Powderhorn n/a n/a closed
Purgatory n/a n/a closed
Silverton n/a n/a closed
Ski Cooper n/a n/a closed
Ski Granby n/a n/a closed
Snowmass n/a n/a closed
Steamboat n/a n/a closed
Sunlight n/a n/a closed
Telluride n/a n/a closed
Vail n/a n/a closed
WinterPark n/a n/a closed
Wolf Creek n/a n/a closed
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Airing it out at Crested Butte
Feb. 17, 2011 Surprise 14 inches of Fresh Powder