The snow from last Saturday pretty much came down as rain and was wet at high altitude, but sure is going to change this week! All eyes were on the US and Canada last week (like the October 1st opening at Crystal Mountain), but the Alps are on this week. My words from Saturday night were not in vain. Both the ECMWF and the GFS models agreed: snow is coming. Time for PowderAlert #1?
The snow is disappearing in North America
I'm always pretty careful with PowderAlerts this early in the season (is it already season 13/14 by the way?) and that has a couple of reasons. There's no base this early in the season, so you'll have to ride at glaciers. You'll find plenty of crevasses there, which, obviously, aren't freeriders best friend. A single step out of bounds can be pretty dangerous. Later in the season the rocky surface can be a problem. Because it needs more snow in the first place, but the infamous second snowfall of the season always results in slab avalanches. So, the best places to ride early in the season are resorts with alpine meadows and larch trees. Less risk, more fun! But for now you're stuck with the glacier resorts!
So...why a PowderAlert?
It's a significant dump. The snowline is dropping. The sun will come out after the dump. There are some resorts (glacier resort) with their lifts open. Just a little advice: the surface of the run that goes into the valley at the Hintertuxer glacier is an alpine meadow. If that run gets 50 centimeters of freshies…well it's party time. And it might just happen on Saturday with some powder runs from the Sommerbergalm.
The low pressure area Werner, that's still high above Scandinavia will connect with another low pressure area (with the red circle on the map below) and will head south from Wednesday. The northern current will push cold air to the south.
Once on its way to the south, another low pressure area will form south and north of the Alps and the main alpine ridge of Italy, Austria and the eastern parts of Switzerland is surrounded by two low pressure areas. The result: intense snowfall! The snowline will drop rapidly, so it'll snow down to the parking lots of some resorts. I expect around 50-70 centimeters of freshies above 2000 meters in the main alpine ridge of Italy and Austria. The snowline will drop (temporarily) below a 1000 meters.
More details the next days and this forecast will be updated of course. If you want to ride some powder this weekend: do not leave the marked slopes on the glacier. If you have any questions, drop them here in the comments.
Yihaaa.. winter '13-'14 is startin!