Today is a sunny, but mild day in the entire Alps. A ridge of high pressure temporarily keeps storms at a distance. You can still find good quality snow (that came down last weekend) above 2000 to 2400 meters. The snow cover is pretty much soaked below that altitude. The weather will become unstable from Tuesday evening. It will start to snow in the northern Alps first and you can expect much more snow to come down south of the main alpine ridge. The weather will remain unstable until the weekend, with snowfall south of the main alpine ridge. The European model forecasts a drop of the temperature, with cold air coming into Europe from the east. That would be pretty nice, but it's still far away. In this forecast:
- The sun shows up after all the rain and snow
- The sun comes out from the west today. Monday will be sunny.
- Three avalanche problems to keep in mind
- Unstable weather again from Wednesday, with snowfall above 1600 meters
The sun shows up after all the rain and snow
The sun came out a couple of times on Sunday and today is a fantastic day. The snow is fresh and of good quality above 2300 meters. Tuesday will also start with sunshine, but the Alps will have to deal with unstable air from Tuesday evening and there's more snow in the forecast. Monday and Tuesday will be pretty good days to ride, but....
Three avalanche problems to keep in mind
Wind, lots of clouds, rain and snow. The snowpack is pretty much soaked below 2000-2200 meters and wet snow avalanches will be a problem the next 48 hours. We have to deal with two other problems above that altitude. There's still a chance of dry snow avalanches between 2000 and 2800 meters, especially in the resorts in the main alpine ridge (thanks to that old weak layer of snow that's still present). The transitions from a thin to a thick snow cover (and vice versa), but also the pressure on the snow cover from a single skier, snowboarder or a group of them could trigger an avalanche. Be very critical in your decision making the next couple of days! You also have to keep in mind that the combination of fresh snow and wind leads to wind-drifted snow that hasn't bonded with the snow cover yet.
Unstable weather again from Wednesday, with snowfall above 1600 meters
The front that comes in on Tuesday night will bring snow to the northern Alps above 1300 meters at first, but will bring a lot of snow to the southern Alps on Wednesday. The current will turn to the south (thanks to a storm in the Bay of Biscay) and will push the clouds to the south side of the Alps. Same story on Thursday when a front (that hits the Pyrenees on Wednesday) reaches the south side of the Alps. A new storm is born over the Mediterranean and high pressure is formed north of the Alps at the same. This means unstable air south of the main alpine ridge and no precipitation north of the main alpine ridge.
This instability will result in lots of fresh snow south of the main alpine ridge from Thursday. The snow line and the center of gravity of the precipitation is not quite sure yet and this has everything to do with the exact storm path. It's focusing on the resorts south of the Gotthard (yes, Andermatt will also benefit) and the resorts south of the Monte Rosa and the Simplon right now. But a small change in the storm path can make sure that the western Piedmont and Queyras will hit the jackpot.
If we look any further then there are big differences. The European model is forecasting cold air coming in from the east (which will result in a comeback of winter), but the American model calculates a trend in which the mild air persists.
This is what you can expect this week:
- Monday-Tuesday will be good days in the northern Alps
- Wednesday will be a transition day
- Some fresh powder in the northern Alps on Thursday and persistent snowfall in the southern Alps
- Where to go tips later this week!
Stay stoked. Morris