PowderAlert #23 has started. But before we get to the images of the webcams from this morning, we want to give you a warning. Eight people died in avalanches the last 72 hours and I want to emphasis that there is a increased chance of three types of avalanches to occur the next 48 hours.
Type 1: wet snow avalanches
It’s warm in the northern Alps (including the French northern Alps). The power of the sun and the warm temperatures is resulting in a wet and heavy snowcover. This type of avalanche can happen during the day on east, south and west facing slopes.
Type 2: slab avalanche caused by drift snow
The risk of this type of avalanche increased a lot yesterday. A föhn storm is hitting the French Alps and the northern Alps since Tuesday morning and this is resulting in drift snow that is binding very bad with the snow cover. Seven people have been killed yesterday due to this type of avalanche. The föhn storm will keep hitting the northern Alps till Wednesday night. You have to keep in mind that there is an increased risk of this kind of slab avalanches in the resorts north(west) of the main alpine ridge in the French Alps, Switzerland and Austria.
Type 3: slab avalanche caused by fresh snow
The risk of this third type of avalanche will increase from Wednesday. It’s snowing (heavily) in the southern Alps. The temperature will rise rapidly later today, causing the fresh snow to bind rapidly. There will be an instant risk of slab avalanches in places where the new snow isn’t well bonded with the old snow.
Keep yourself well informed the next couple of days, make the right decisions and read your local avalanche bulletin (which you can find on wePowder.com).
Current: powder in the south!
It’s starting to snow (as expected) in the south. Check out the webcams below. If you want to more about the freeride potential of the resorts, click on the links below the pictures.
It’s snowing since Tuesday afternoon. It started in the southwest and is expanding into the other regions of the southern Alps. The snowline will rise to 1400-1600 meters during Wednesday and Thursday and the freezing level will be around 1800-2000 meters. I expect 50-70 centimeter of freshies above 2000 meters in the southern resorts of the Piemonte between Tuesday and Thursday evening. The other regions of the southern Alps can expect 20-50 centimeters of freshies. Between 1300 and 1900 meters the snow will be pretty wet.
Wednesday: treeruns in the southern French Alps and the Italian Piemonte. The snow is getting heavier during the day.
Thursday: all regions in the southern Alps received freshies. You can find the most snow (50-90 centimeter of freshies) in the southern Piemonte. The sun will come out in the morning, which means: bluebird and powder! It’s still snowing in the southern Alps central and the southern Alps east. You can expect 20-50 centimeters by Friday.
Friday: A front will come in from the southwest during the morning. It can snow pretty intense south of Pelvoux on Friday, with the snowline around 1200-1400 meters. This front is moving to the north later on and will cause some rain and some snow over there.
From a southweststau to a northstau on Saturday and Sunday
A new front will hit the Alps between Saturday and Sunday. The southwest will get the first snow on Saturday, but the wind will lay low during the night and it will start snowing in the French northern Alps and the other regions of the northern Alps as well. The snow line will eventually be around 1500-1700 meters, but will drop to 1200 meters. Sunday morning just might be another perfect day in the French Alps. The front has passed and there are some freshies above 1800 meters.
It will start snowing heavily in the northern Alps on Sunday. It will snow in the northern stau regions from Sunday to Tuesday. The maps aren’t that positive (yet), but it just might snow a lot due to the combination of lots of humidity and freezing temperatures coming in from the north. The snow-water equivalent might be very good, which means that the quality of the snow can be really good. As in cold. As in dry.
PowderAdvice for Monday and later: PowderAlert #24
It looks like you can pick your playground in the northern Alps. The temperature will drop around 15 degrees, there’s a lot of humidity and this combination might result in lots of snow. And that might be more than the snowmaps are forecasting at the moment. Where to go? The usual suspects again. The resorts in the Arlberg, Nordbünden and the northstau regions of Tirol and the Salzburgerland.
Snow for the south after the weekend
More details tomorrow.
Wednesday to Friday: powder in the south
Friday to Sunday: powder in the French Alps
Sunday: powder in the French Alps
Everybody will get some faceshots!
If you have any questions (shot or long term forecast, destinations), do not hesitate to ask them!