I'm in Canada at the moment and there's plenty of snow to be found in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. You can compare it to the amount of snow in the southern Alps. The differences worldwide are huge. If you're spending time in the Salzburgerland or Mt. Baker, you're just wondering where the snow is. But if you're in the southern Alps or Revelstoke (guess where I am) you'll know the answer.
So, what happened?
PowderAlert #9 brought lots of freshies to the southwestern and southern Alps, and most parts of the western Alps got their share as well. 40-90 centimeters came down locally. The wind is the dealbraker and the avalanche danger got up to four (on a scale of five) in the regions where they had the most precipitation. The snow came down as forecasted.
You can spot the differences in the Alps easily by checking the webcam images and the reports on the PowderQuest app. A selection.
It's pretty obvious that you'll have to go to the southern Alps for the best snow. The avalanche danger is now high there at the moment, but that will stabilize the next couple of days. They had so much snow from PowderAlert #5 till #9 that the weak layers are deep in the snowcover right now. That's good news. But, this isn't the case in the other regions in the Alps. The situation is still really tense and unstable.
The southern and western Alps got a lot of snow the last couple of days, but what's next? The weather stations are already indicating that warm air is flooding across the Alps and that won't stop shortly…
It will be dry and sunny
The Alps will be ruled by a high pressure area that's bringing warm air from the south, with sunny and mild days and cold and clear nights as a result. The temperatures wlll rise and the freezing level in the northern and western Alps might hit the 2500 meters or even higher. This will be lower in the southern Alps, but the warm air will also push the freezing level to that kind of altitude later in the week. You're best chances for some good snow are the inneralpine regions in the western and southern Alps. There's plenty of snow in those valleys and it will be pretty cold. It's much harder for the warm air to reach those valleys. The larch trees and north faces aren't directly influenced by the sun as well….so you'll know where to go. Avoid the northern Alps, it will be too warm here. Go to the inneralpine regions in the southern Alps.
Well, let's check the plumes again for the western, northern and southern Alps. The red line is the normal temperature for this time of the year. The colors above the red line indicate the temperatures that are measured by the models the next couple of weeks. You'll find the peaks in precipitation underneath those lines.
Mild, dry and the snowcover is too thin. It's really hard to find powder here this week. And you'll have to that that the snowcover in the higher alpine Is unstable. You'd better stay on the slopes or travel south. The temperatures will drop after the 13th and there's a small chance of snow after that. Or it might be a little bit sooner (from 9-10 of January).
Dry and mild, but there's so much snow in the innneralpine valleys that it will stay cold. The southern Alps are you're best chance for good snow. The temperatures will drop after the 13th.
Same story for the western Alps: too mild and too dry. The inneralpine valleys of the French southern Alps will be you're best shot.
There are no substantial changes the next couple of days, so the next update will be around Wednesday. I'm off riding pow in Revy!