Up to 75 centimeters of freshies in Limone Piemonte. It will be warm temporarily, but winter will strike back! The countdown to PowderAlert #24 has started, but it’s time to enjoy PowderAlert #23 first. But ride safe, because the conditions are tricky at the moment!
up to eleven people died the last couple of days in the Alps because of avalanches. The warm temperatures in the last couple of days and the strong föhnstorm resulted in tricky conditions. It also snowed heavily in the southern Alps and you’ll have to keep in mind that there is an increased risk of three types of avalanches.
Type 1: wet snow avalanches
It’s getting warmer everywhere in the Alps today. 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 since Tuesday. A föhn storm has been hitting the French Alps and the northern Alps since Tuesday morning and this was resulting in drift snow that is binding very bad with the snow cover. 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 and that's the result of the heavy snowfall 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. The avalanche risk in the Italian Piemonte and the French southern Alps is a four out of five today.
Current, lots of freshies in the southern Alps
It’s snowing in the southern Alps since Tuesday afternoon and especially the resorts on the border of France and Italy and the resorts close to the Mediterranean got a lot of snow. Resorts such as Limone Piemonte and Isola 2000 report around 60-75 centimeter of freshies and it’s still snowing there (lightly though) right now.
The other regions in the southern Alps had around 10-40 centimeters. The snowfall intensified during the night of Wednesday to Thursday. It’s still snowing right now in the southern Alps. It will keep snowing this morning in the French southern Alps and the Piemonte this morning and the sun may come out this afternoon. When it’s stops snowing, the temperatures will rise rapidly and you’ll notice that this afternoon. The sun will be pretty okay on higher north faces.
Short term, snow in the southwest
Another low pressure area is ready to send some snow to the southwest of the Alps. You can find that low pressure area above the eastern Pyrenees on the map below, but it will deliver some freshies on Friday morning in the French southern Alps. The snowline will be around 1600-1900 meters and I expect another 20-40 centimeters above 2000 meters. Especially the southern stau resorts in the Pelvoux can expect a lot of snow. Keep in mind that the snow that’s falling below 2000 meters can be pretty heavy. A second front will kick in on Saturday, with 10-15 centimeters of freshies. The wind will turn to the northwest and it will start snowing in the northwest of the Alps.
There will be pretty high temperatures (up to 20 degrees in the valleys) in Austria and the eastern regions of Switzerland
Friday and Saturday: snow above 1800 meters in the French southern Alps, pretty warm in the rest of the Alps. Some rain and some snow here and there.
Powder advice this weekend
The French southern Alps. The more south you go, the more snow you’ll get.
Winter will be back after the weekend!
It’s getting colder, but when, how and the exact moment isn’t quite set in stone. The most snow will fall where the two air currents (cold/dry air and warm/humid air) will collide. Add the Alps to that and you’ll have a big dump. But….when the two systems won’t collide, we’ll see a lot less precipitation. The models aren’t sure about that yet and I’ll give you an update on that tomorrow morning.
It’s pretty obvious where to go this weekend. Head to the French southern Alps this weekend for powder. Bring an extra jacket, cause it’s getting cold after the weekend.
Some background info on the weather
A shift of a 100 kilometers is the difference between a lot or little snow for the northern Alps on Monday. When the systems will collide it will snow heavily, but when the warm air escapes to the east we’ll see a lot less freshies. 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.
Poederadvies maandag en verder, ofwel poederalert#24
Will it snow 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. It will also snow in the southern Alps after the weekend. More details tomorrow!
Thursday/Friday: powder in the south
Friday to Sunday: powder in the French Alps
Sunday: powder in the French Alps
Monday to Wednesday: powder in the northstau of the northern Alps
Tuesday and later: Dolomites
Everybody will get some faceshots!
If you have any questions (shot or long term forecast, destinations), do not hesitate to ask them!