Exceptional start of the winter in France

By meteomorris on 5 December 2012 · 0

It's deep in Nendaz
It's deep in Nendaz

The avalanche danger has gone up, it's a historical start of the winter in France, powderalert#7 is coming and will snow accumulations go up to 200 cm of fresh powder?

Current conditions

The westnorthwest jetstream is on fire. We saw 40-60 cm of fresh powder coming down yesterday and we might receive another 60 cm today. The amounts of freshies are even higher in some locations, although the wind was very strong in higher alpine areas and the snowpack might be packed by the wind. We had our soft launch of the powfinder app yesterday and we saw the first reports coming in, like this one from Alpe d'Huez. Powfinder is available for download in iTunes and will be available for Android soon.

The best condities are to be found within the trees the coming days. The avalanche danger is bigger at higher altitude due to a combination of a fragile old layer, huge amounts of fresh powder and a lot of wind.

Fresh snow accumulation in Switzerland the last three days

The upper air flow is turning northwest and we will see continuing snowfall from Grenoble to the Arlberg today. When we go further east, the amounts of fresh pow will be only some centimeters. And those regions really need the snow!

Thickest snowpack in western and southern Tirol
Thickest snowpack in western and southern Tirol

The picture above shows you the big differences in the snowpack thickness in Tirol. The snowpack is significant thinner when we go east. Fieberbrunn, Zell am See and Kaprun are still waiting for the first big dump. But there is hope.

But first powderalert#7

Storm Karin is ready to track south. She is now north of the British Isles and will bring powderalert#7. But before that we might see some sun on Thursday.

Storm Karin is ready
Storm Karin is ready

And just like Johanna she has chosen to move towards the northwestern Alps. This will bring us an additional 50-90 cm from Friday till Saturday.

Powderlart#7, snowfalls friday december 7th
Powderlart#7, snowfalls friday december 7th

After the weekend?

According to the latest models of GFS and ECMWF there is a good chance that we might see a nordstau from Monday till Thursday. Powderalert#5 was for the southern Alps, Powderalert#6 en #7 for the western and northwestern (Grenoble-St. Anton am Arlberg). And Powderalert#8 might just right for the northern Alps.

More details tomorrow.

Stay Stoked!



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