PowderAlert #3 is ON and winter has started! It’s the 15th of November and the snow that has fallen in the higher alpine is here to stay. There will be a lot of snow in large parts of the Alps on Sunday with a base of around 30-60 centimeters above 2000 meteres. Locally even more than one meter.
As expected, a front passed the Alps last night. This resulted in a lot of snow in the northern Alps, including the French northern Alps. Check out these sweet looking pics of this morning.Flaine
The front has reached the Po-valley right now. The sun is coming out in the northern Alps, but that will take a while in the southern Alps. A low pressure area named Luis is intensifying to 1005 hPa and the so-called ‘retour d’est’ is bringing lots and lots of snow. That can be seen on the webcams in the southern Alps.The Hossa bar in Sankt Moritz
The best indication for a Genua-low and the retour d’est is the snow coming down in the French Queyras region. When it snows in the Queyras, and especially in Saint Veran, the retour d’est is a fact! This is a phenomenon that’s pushing snow towards Valfréjus, and when it’s powerful enough, to Val d’Isère.
The retour d’est will last for a while. When it stops snowing in the other regions of the southern Alps, it will keep snowing in the Piemonte (especially the resorts south of Bardonecchia). The sun might come out once in a while, but the weather will be unstable till Wednesday with snow above 1900 meters. There might be a chance that some resorts in the Piemonte will open their lifts early the next weekends.
Where to go?
The webcams are white, but the snowcover is still thin. There’s plenty of snow on the alpine meadows, but the snow cover is not sufficient on rocky surfaces. And hey, there aren’t that much resorts open yet. You don’t have that much options. You might go out for a tour on an alpine meadow and that will be lots of fun, but if you want lift assisted skiing you’ll have to go to Verbier or one of the glaciers. There’s always the risk of crevasses on glaciers and sharks in the higher alpine. The first weak layers in the snowpack has been spotted and that could result in slab avalanches. So, if you’re going for it: take it easy. The glaciers got another 15-30 centimeters. Enough for a couple of days of fun.
Enjoying the webcams
You’ll have to check out the webcams in the Piemonte the next couple of days. Where will it snow the most and where is the snowline? You can tune in on the southern Alps the whole week, because…
The air pressure in the Alps will result in chances of more snow (even bigger chance of snow after Wednesday) and you should get ready for PowderAlert #4.
Winter is here!