Weststau Galore

By meteomorris on 13 December 2012 · 0

Faceshots this weekend!

Westlage, 80 cm of freshies, strong wind and increasing avalanche danger,


It’s getting warmer and warmer in the Alps today. There’s a front coming in from the west, but it’s still sunny in the east. The wind from the southwest will get stronger during the day. There will be a southern föhn in the northern Alps and the French southern Alps will get another 5-10 cm, locally even 30 cm. Especially the Ecrins will get a lot of freshies. There’s still enough powder to be found in the Alps.

Short term

There’s a more active front coming in on Friday. The snowline will rise rapidly during the night from Friday to Saturday. It will be around 700-1200 meters in the stau areas of the Ecrins, Engadin and Lombardia. The temperatures will rise rapidly in the valleys that are easily affected by the wind. I expect the best conditions in the resorts south of the Ecrins on Friday and Saturday. There will be some great riding in the larches, but it’s getting warmer on Saturday. The avalanche danger will rise and can even het to four (on a scale of five). Expect 80 cm of freshies south of the Ecrins till Saturday evening and about 20-45 cm in the Engadin, Lombardia and the south of Wallis.

Snow from the southwest on Friday

There’s a cold front coming in on Saturday. The current will turn to the west. The snowline will drop from 1500 to about a 1000 meter in the western and northern Alps. Especially the northern French Alps can expect heavy snow. You can expect the avalanche danger to rise around the Mt. Blanc and the western parts of Switzerland. It may go up to four (on a scale of five). You can expect snow in the the western stau regions of the northern Alps during the night from Saturday on Sunday. I expect around 80 centimeter of freshies around the Mt. Blanc and the Tarentaise and around 10-35 cm further east. The Vorarlberg will get some of these freshies. The Tarentaise and the Mt. Blanc region will have the best snow conditions, but watch out, because the avalanche danger is rising rapidly.

Cold air will come in from the west on Saturday afternoon

Long term

The jetstream will continue to cause a west stau, even though the latest models predict colder temperatures after the weekend. We’ll keep an eye on that.

Powder advice

Head to the French southern Alps for freshies on Friday and Saturday. You should be in the French northern Alps on Sunday. If you’re heading east, you’d better choose the inneralpine regions. It will stay colder in these regions and they’ll probably won’t be affected too much by the warmer temperatures.


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