PA#6: up to 100 cm of snow for France! Snow for Italy after that?


By meteomorris on 9 January 2017 · 7

Winter has finally started in Austria and eastern Switzerland around the 3rd of January. But there are still plenty of other regions in the Alps where they need some fresh snow. There's almost no snow in the Dolomites and Carinthia, the French northern Alps are dying for snow and the snowpack in lots of regions in Switzerland is thinner than normal.

Snowpack thinner than normal
Snowpack thinner than normal

On the other hand, you could ride some great powder in the east of the Alps. Again. The conditions in resorts like Tauplitz and Loser simply are really good at the moment (though everything is tracked right now).

Anyway, winter will have to give us some more snow before we can call it a good winter. In this forecast:

  • Winter really kicks in!
  • Lots of snow for the northwest of the Alps
  • Long term: snow for Italy?

Winter really kicks in!

Winter will really kick in next week. You can expect three storms to hit the northwest of the Alps. The storms with have different centers of gravity. One will hit Switzerland, the other the French northern Alps and the Austrian region of Vorarlberg will get snow anyway. The snow line will go up and down. It will snow deep into the valleys, but the next moment the snow line might rise to 1200-1400 meters in the west of the Alps. It will rise even further on Thursday.

The three storms will bring snow and this can add up to 100 cm at 2000 meters. The wind won't be that strong and with a little bit of luck we can ride powder in the French northern Alps and the northwest of Switzerland during the weekend. But you have to be careful.

The last significant dump in this part of the Alps dates from late November. There's no base in most resorts below 2000-2500 meters. And in the few resorts that have something you could call a base, well, in those resorts it will serve as the ultimate sliding layer for avalanches. I'd go for resorts with alpine meadows without rocks or other hazards.

**TIP: check the avalanche forecast on the resort pages on wePowder

If you want to have more information on where to go, you can also start with Mountain Academy. This gives you access to knowledge to make better decisions on where to go, ride better powder and become more aware of alpine risks.

Lots of snow for the northwest of the Alps

You can still ride powder in the northern Alps east on Tuesday and Wednesday. Check out the forecast from yesterday for more details. Don't base your decision of riding powder in the northwest of the Alps only on the centimeters of fresh snow that are forecasted. The most snow will come fown on Friday and Saturday. The conditions in some resorts (read my advice above again) will be good on Sunday.

Current from the NNW next weekend
Current from the NNW next weekend

It's a different story for the Arlberg. You can already find a good base over there and with the snow that's forecasted you can ride powder again this weekend. More details later this week.

Long term: snow for Italy?

Let's have a look at next week. It's still pretty far away, but I wanted to show you the calculations of the ECMWF (the European weather model). According to that model we can expect a low pressure area above the Mediterranean sea with a strong current from the east as a result. And this will result in snowfall in the Po-valley and low temperatures for Europe. The American model however is forecasting high pressure, sun and high temperatures. I know which option I'd choose. And you?

High pressure or a retour d'est?
High pressure or a retour d'est?

Stay stoked. Morris

Comments


  • joseangelgayobueno
    joseangelgayobueno op 10 January 2017 · 11:17
    Hello
    I'm going to saalbach from 21 to 28 January, I'm going to catch snow powder?
    thanks
  • yotsit
    Beginner
    yotsit op 10 January 2017 · 12:11
    arlberg area for next week (mon/thu) should be good?
  • jazzman
    Advanced
    jazzman op 11 January 2017 · 16:40
    Hello
    I'm going to saalbach from 21 to 28 January, I'm going to catch snow powder?
    thanks joseangelgayobueno op 10 Jan 2017 11:17

    That is too long in time to tell Jose Angel... anything more than 4 or 5 days is way too long, Meteomorris won´t answer...
    It´s snow or never!!
  • joseangelgayobueno
    joseangelgayobueno op 11 January 2017 · 20:15
    ok
  • SweetSnowsports
    SweetSnowsports op 11 January 2017 · 21:52
    Les Trois Vallee ski area had 10-20cm of fresh last transforming the area from strips of artificial snow to a ski resort. Although still very superficial, the piste skiing is now superb, particularly in the Courchevel valley. The mixture of the man made snow with the base cannon snow has made for some really quite amazing piste skiing, especially of late. The pistes are empty and getting better. Looks like there is a significant amount more due anyday now. Don't hesitate to drop us a line if you need a local update, we're on the hill every day, all day!
  • ryanlavoie
    ryanlavoie op 11 January 2017 · 23:19
    That is great to hear @sweetsnowsports . Coming from Massachusetts with a bunch of people to club med on January 21st to 28th. Can't wait for the snowfall great to hear finally for some snow out there! Excited will be a blast!
  • SweetSnowsports
    SweetSnowsports op 13 January 2017 · 21:10
    @ryanlavoie, That is great to hear @sweetsnowsports . Coming from Massachusetts with a bunch of people to club med on January 21st to 28th. Can't wait for the snowfall great to hear finally for some snow out there! Excited will be a blast! ryanlavoie op 11 Jan 2017 23:19

    The snow came into full force as the ISO fell this morning, it got properly cold this afternoon and continued to snow, I estimate around 40cm above 1700m. This has given us a reasonable base, but not much powder to be ridden unless you're skiing N facing stuff in Courchevel, most of which is high and steep so avalanche prone just now. I'll happily keep you update. It's still snowing now and -7 at 1190m in the Courchevel valley (2100, Fridat evening). Fingers crossed that we have some more soon, that said, it's pretty decent right now.

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