An active front is entering France from the west at the moment. It's only a matter of hours before it starts snowing in the French Alps. The higher temperatures are out, and the normal temperatures for January are back again. You can easily spot the front coming in from the southwest on the European satellites, marking the start of PowderAlert #10.
This view is quite the same of the front maps of Hirlam. Hirlam is the cooperation between the European Meteorological Institutes. The Dutch KNMI and Météo France (obviously from France) are participating in this project. You can spot the satellite image above on the front map below (with a little imagination).
The low pressure area southwest of Iceland is responsible for the snow. The blue line west of the Alps is forming a cold front and causing snow and dropping temperatures. It was +4 degrees at 2000 meters in the French Alps yesterday, but the freezing level will drop to 1200-1500 at the end of the afternoon and the snow level will even drop to 900-1200 meters. It will snow heavily in the western Alps. You can expect 15-30 centimeters, locally even 40 centimeters of freshies. But the big bang is still to come! There's another low pressure developing south of the Alps.
A low pressure area named Gudrun is developing right after the passage of the cold front in the Gulf of Genua. This low pressure area will bring the most snow this PowderAlert #10. It will happen on Tuesday. It will snow heavily in the southern Alps central (everything east of Milan) and the southern Alps east. The snow line will be around 900-1200 meters. Locally even lower. I expect around 30-60 centimeters, locally even 70 centimeters of snow.
The snowfall will expand into the resorts in the main alpine ridge later. More specific: the resorts in the south of the northern Alps central and the northern Alps west will get hit. I expect around 15-30 centimeters of freshies. The wind will turn to the north in the afternoon and it will snow in the north of the northern Alps central and the northern Alps west as well. You can expect 15-30 centimeters of freshies between Engelberg and the Kleinwalsertal. The big losers of this dump will be the Salzburgerland and Steiermark in Austria. They only get around 2-10 centimeters of freshies. You can check out everything on the map below.
You have to travel to the southern Alps for the most snow. The biggest disadvantage will be the northern wind from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday. This will result in many drift snow. My advice: stay in the larch trees of the southern Alps on Tuesday and Wednesday. The snow cover is thick and as pretty stable. Always check the conditions and the latest avalanche bulletin of the resort where you want to go for a ride.
PowderAlert #11 will be on its way after Wednesday. This could be a BIG PowderAlert with snow from Friday to Tuesday. An extensive long term analysis will follow tomorrow. Winter is back!