Weather

Independence Pass was temporarily closed due to inclement weather and stuck vehicles this morning. The pass is now open for through traffic.

Facebook/Aspen Snowmass

Now that the leaves are changing, weather officials are releasing forecasts for the upcoming winter. The jury’s out on whether the strong El Nino pattern that’s expected will bring heavy snow or dry conditions. Marci Krivonen spoke with two forecasters about their predictions. First, Joel Gratz of Open Snow. It's a weather service for skiers and riders.

http://inciweb.nwcg.gov

The hazy conditions in the upper Roaring Fork Valley Wednesday (8/19) were from wildfires burning in the Pacific Northwest.

All day Wednesday, Aspen Environmental Health Specialist Jannette Whitcomb was checking the air quality in town. Two monitors track ozone and particulate matter. Despite the smog, the monitors recorded “good” air quality.

"The levels have gone up higher than normal because of the fires, but they’ve haven’t gotten into unhealthy ranges," she says.

Weather-awareness tips from Mountain Rescue Aspen

Jul 20, 2015
Facebook/Mountain Rescue Aspen

Mountain Rescue Aspen was involved in the recovery of two bodies from the Maroon Bells Snowmass wilderness last week. It’s still unclear how father and son Jeffrey and Cameron Beard died. A hiker discovered the Colorado Springs residents unresponsive, in their tent. Law enforcement initially thought lightning was the cause. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Jeff Edelson and Doug Paley from Mountain Rescue. Edelson says Colorado is third for lightning deaths in the U.S.

Your Morning News - February 13th, 2015

Feb 13, 2015

Less Snow Means Less Green for Businesses

Aspen saw its second driest January in nearly a hundred years. February so far has also been dry and warm. For businesses who make a lot of money on snow, it’s been a tough go of it.

 

“I’ve been in the snow removal business for 28 years, and really never seen this long a dry spell before,” says Will Vannice.

 

He owns Daly Properties in Basalt. He and his workers usually remove snow and ice for commercial properties, and business is down about 350 percent. Vannice says the company will probably make it through OK, as long as he keeps spending to a minimum. But it’s harder on the workers.

 

“We have 6 salaried positions here and they just cut 30% of their salary out until the first of April,” he says.

 

Further up valley, Glenn Loper is owner of Groundskeepers of Aspen. The company also does snow removal and landscaping.

 

“At this point we’re on an “on call” business for our employees, about fifteen or eighteen of them that are in limbo right now.”

 

Loper also has about a handful of salaried employees and they’re staying busy down in Carbondale. That’s because Groundskeepers is now operating Planted Earth nursery there. Like Will Vannice, Loper has to make sure he keeps an eye on spending this spring to make it through OK. And they’re both waiting out February before switching over to spring landscaping.  

“I was kind of excited the other day when I saw that the weather pattern had shifted and we’re possibly gonna get more snow now,” Loper says.

 

Aspenweather.net is forecasting snow for this Sunday and Monday. Corey Gates, co-founder of the hyper-local forecasting website, says the rest of the month looks stormy.

He guesses that 28 inches of snow will fall by the end of the month.

Mountain Edition - January 29th, 2015

Jan 29, 2015

Welcome to Mountain Edition.

Warm temperatures are boosting river levels and disappointing skiers. We’ll tell you what’s ahead in the forecast.

Low oil and gas prices are good for consumers but tough on companies drilling in Western Colorado.

Despite an oil and gas slowdown, a new analysis shows hundreds of spills are still being reported.

Aspen residents are gathering signatures to get a measure on the ballot that would require voter-approval of some development projects.

By the look of things outside one might think it’s April. Above-average temperatures and a dearth of snowfall have made this January one for the record books. Aspen Weather.Net’s Cory Gates explains what’s happening and what the future forecast is showing. He spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason.

Your Evening News - December 23rd, 2014

Dec 23, 2014

Bad Flu Hits the Valley

Health officials in the Roaring Fork Valley are warning people to be wary of the flu as a certain strain is being seen in the Valley and throughout the country. Also, flu season has arrived earlier and with a bigger punch than last year.

The strain of flu circulating is called “H3N2” and, for the most part, a flu shot doesn’t protect you from it. This year’s flu shot has defense against other strains. But, it is only slightly effective with H3N2.

Pitkin County Public Health Director Liz Stark says her office has seen a significant spike of cases in the last two weeks. But, so far, there have been no hospitalizations from flu.

“This particular strain of the flu is hitting the very young and the older population hardest this year. In other parts of the state and the country, the hospitalizations that have occurred, most of them are occurring in children less than six months of age or in people over age 65. So, at the first sign of those symptoms, it’s a good idea to go to your physician or health care clinic and get tested.”

She recommends washing hands vigilantly and staying home from work. Some anti-viral medicines like Tamiflu can minimize symptoms and decrease the duration of the flu.

Valley Roundup - December 12th, 2014

Dec 12, 2014

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the top news stories in the valley in the past week.

This week the White River National Forest released an oil and gas plan. But, does that settle the matter on drilling in the Thompson Divide?

The City of Aspen continues to refine a new lodging incentives ordinance. At the same time, the council is asking the city management to give them better information.

The State of Colorado is not messing around when it comes to regulations and medical pot shops.

Could Aspen’s Little Annie’s return from the grave… again?

Mountain Edition - November 13th, 2014

Nov 13, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition. Wintry weather descends on the Roaring Fork Valley this week closing Independence Pass and prompting locals to break out their cold weather gear. Two Roaring Fork Valley residents are renamed to the U.S. Ski Team. Aspen holds its annual Veterans Day service. The Forest Service highlights crowds over-loving backcountry spots, big employers move forward with a plan to make their workers healthier, and politicians in Denver put their ducks in a row after a surprising election.

Mountain Edition - February 6th, 2014

Feb 6, 2014

Aspen and other parts of the Upper Valley are still digging out from last week’s historic snowstorm and there’s more powder in the forecast.

And all that snowpack is good news for farmers and ranchers in the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Aspen community continues to grapple with the recent loss of a beloved newspaper editor. We take a look at how hard it can be to prevent suicide.

On a lighter note, soon it’ll be much easier to speed through security at Aspen’s airport, a Catholic monk in Old Snowmass is featured in a new movie and the Olympic Games have kicked off in Sochi… we’ll talk with an Aspen athlete who’s settling in and getting ready to compete. We’ll also hear the latest on security concerns at the games in Russia.

Valley Roundup - January 31st, 2014

Jan 31, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the week’s top news stories in Aspen and beyond.

We are joined today by the Aspen Times’ Andy Stone and Aspen Daily News’ Curtis Wackerle. This  Week, Garfield County officials said they are asking the state not to impose new air pollution standards on oil and gas drilling rigs in the county.

Aspen’s most famous downtown, Ukrainian, penthouse-owners have been told the city will no longer jump every time they complain about noise from bars and restaurants.

Now that marijuana is legal, the conversation about pot has shifted.  One new topic is; how potheads should behave in public.

And on the Download with Rob St. Mary – Big snow goes viral.  Also, break out the goldfish.  It might be Superbowl 48 in some quarters, to others its Weed Bowl 1.  Even Jello Biafra weighs in.

Its all on this week’s Valley Roundup.

Woo and Hoo!

Jan 31, 2014
Roger Adams

Longtime locals are saying this is the most snow to fall from a single storm in decades.  It might not even be hyperbole to say it is shaping up to be an epic powder day.  All of this was predicted two weeks ago by meteorologist Cory Gates , owner of Aspenweather.net.  Gates focuses his forecasting skills on the hyper-local microclimates within the Roaring Fork Valley.  The really good news, says Gates, is that as February goes, so might go the rest of the winter; and February is looking good for snow.  He says we should all remember the number 140.  Gates spoke with APR's Roger Adams.

Winter Storm Closures

Jan 31, 2014
Roger Adams

As the snow continues to fall under this winter storm, the list of closures is starting to pile up:

* The Aspen School District has called a snow day for Friday. All schools in the district will be closed.

* The Roaring Fork Schools has called a snow day for Friday. All schools in the district will be closed.

* The Eagle County Schools has canceled all after school activities for today and there will be no school tomorrow.

* Ross Montessori Charter School in Carbondale is closed. 

Mountain Edition - December 5th, 2013

Dec 5, 2013

A whopper of a snowstorm dumped more than a foot of white gold along the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Town of Basalt is facing angry residents who don’t want to be forced out of their homes.

South of Carbondale, citizen scientists are using backpacks to get more data on air pollution

And other residents there are grappling with more layoffs at the Elk Creek coal mine. It’s been all but closed up.

A New Castle native is hoping to overcome a big injury and make it to the Winter Olympics.

And we’ll hear from a seasoned athlete about what it’s like to compete in the Olympics and take home a medal.

Weather Closures

Dec 4, 2013
Rob St. Mary

* Aspen and Roaring Fork Public Schools are closed.

* The Garfield RE-2 School District that covers Rifle, Silt and New Castle is closed.

* All Colorado Mountain College campuses from Rifle to Aspen are closed today. That includes CMC learning locations in Rifle, the Glenwood Center, Carbondale, Spring Valley and Aspen. For more information, please call your local campus. The college's Central Services administrative offices in downtown Glenwood Springs remain open.

Mountain Edition - October 24th, 2013

Oct 24, 2013

It’s election time and we’re taking a look at issues on the November ballot and what they could mean for a voter’s tax bill. First, there’s a statewide income tax increase for public schools.

And, there’s a local proposal to build a rec center in the Mid-Valley. Supporters say will enhance the community, while critics say it would mean hundreds more in property taxes for homeowners.

Basalt residents are being asked to redevelop land along the Roaring Fork River. The plan forces out more than a hundred people from a trailer park.

Finally, we’ll hear the latest weather forecast for the coming winter… there’s good news, and bad news.

Elise Thatcher

The winter outlook is mixed. Although some are saying the wet fall could mean lots of snow in the coming months, a National Weather Service forecaster says there might also be some dry spells. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher talks with GJ National Weather Service forecaster Joe Ramey. He says this winter might be very familiar.

Snow Storms Good News for Anglers

May 1, 2013
http://www.fryingpananglers.com/Photos-2013/fly-fishing-photos-4-April-1Jason.html

Recent snow showers have boosted local snowpack levels much higher than at this time last year. Yesterday the snowpack in the Roaring Fork Watershed registered 107 percent of normal. It’s good news for anglers who dealt with warm and dry conditions last year.

The latest “Fishing Report” on the Frying Pan Anglers website reads, “...this last week has put us in the best position all year, with the best water in the entire state.”

Owner Warwick Mowbray wrote that entry. He says recent storms paint a good picture for the upcoming fishing season.

Photo by Elise Thatcher

Most residents in the Roaring Fork Valley probably won’t be surprised to hear

there’s more snow in the mountains. Drought conditions are in the area again this year... but while the snow is helping... it’s cold temperatures that are making the biggest difference.

Wendy Ryan is with the Colorado Climate Center. She says the snowpack in the Roaring Fork Valley is at 87% of what’s normal.

"It’s way better than we had been just a few weeks ago, so April has brought us some really good moisture, mainly along the northern tier of the state."

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