30-80 cm of fresh snow, strong winds and locally a wind chill of minus 30 degrees. It finally feels like winter in the northern Alps! The combination of cold air, fresh snow, wind and a weak old snow layer creates a significant risk of avalanches and it will be like this for a while. The only two regions in the Alps that are still dying for snow are the French northern Alps and the Dolomites/Carinthia. In this forecast:
- Looking back: 30-80 cm of fresh snow
- Short term: sunny, snowfall from Saturday
- PowderAdvice: Northern Alps East
- Mid-term: snowfall from Tuesday
- PowderAdvice next week: resorts north of the main alpine ridge in Austria
- Long term: turbulent weather
Looking back: 30-80 cm of fresh snow
The Big Change happened on the 4th of January. There's finally a base in the northern Alps for the rest of the season. There are plenty of new live reports on the PowderQuest app and it's ON in Austria right now.
It's snowing heavily in eastern Switzerland and in the north of Austria since Wednesday. The conditions clearly have improved in these regions, but there wasn't much (or even any) precipitation in the rest of the Alps.
Short term: sunny, snowfall from Saturday
More snow will come down in eastern Austria today, but eventually the sun will come out. It will be extremely cold in especially Austria, but also in eastern Switzerland.
That cold air will disappear (a bit) with the arrival of a new front on Saturday. It will start snowing again on the north side of the Alps in the night from Saturday to Sunday and on Sunday itself. You can expect the most snow to come down (again) in the eastern Alps. The visibility will be not that good, the wind will quite strong, so you'll better pick a resort where you can ride between the trees.
PowderAdvice: Northern Alps East
Around 30-80 cm of fresh snow already came down and there is an additional 10-40 cm in the forecast for Austria this weekend. Where to go? Well, the base is still a bit thin in lots of resorts (or even non-existent before this dump). The new snow binds pourly with the old layer. It's quite cold in Austria and the wind transported a lot of snow above the treeline. So what to do? I'd go for resorts that already had something that looked like a base below 2000 meters (as in the Northern Alps East), where you can find trees (with a base between the trees, think about larch trees) or alpine meadows where the chance of hitting a branch, rock or another shark is small.
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.
My PowderAdvice for Sunday/Monday/Tuesday? Check out the resorts below. There's still plenty of accommodation to be found in those resorts (just click on the resorts).
Mid-term: snowfall from Tuesday
A new and active front will arrive from the northwest on Tuesday. Finally, the French northern Alps can expect some significant snowfall. The front will start moving east via the north of Switzerland and Austria on Tuesday. It's not sure how much snow will come down, but I hope the front will stick around longer in the French Alps than calculated right now. Because of the lack of a base there's no point in going to France next week. Same story for the resorts in the west of Switzerland. There's still only a thin base there.
PowderAdvice next week: resorts north of the main alpine ridge in Austria
PowderAlert #5 will probably on from Wednesday/Thursday. The base will be much better in a lot of resorts by then and I can offer you soem more options. More details on Sunday!
Long term: turbulent weather
There's more snow on its way after PowderAlert #5. It remains turbulent and the Alps can expect more storms from the Atlantic that will bring more snow. Winter has finally begun.
Stay stoked. Morris