It’s deep right now in the southern Alps and the reports say it all. Isola 2000 and Valberg are cut off from the ’real world’ (they’re trying to open the roads right now). Lots of snow came down and the centimeters were in line with my forecasts. The avalanche danger got up to four (on a scale of five) and only the larch trees offered free riding with an acceptable risk. The powder snorkel still is necessary in lots of places and the temperature got up temporarily in the night from Saturday to Sunday, making the snow more heavy.
You had to go to Norway for the real cold smoke blower pow. My Pudderalert was spot on. Robert and his friends enjoyed the powder in Hemsedal. The pictures below say it all. 'You were spot on Morris ! Ice cold, finest quality Japanese blower pow.' I love it when a plan comes together.Spot the rider
So, what’s next? Will it be any deeper in the south? Well, it’s still snowing this Sunday and the temperatures are the lowest in the western Piemonte. The temperature is rising in the other regions temporarily. I commented on that before: The coldest temperatures can be found in the western Piemonte. The freezing level will go up to 1600 meters in the other southern regions. In regions with Föhn winds and other regions in the Alps (such as the northern Alps), the freezing level will go up to 2200 meters. And that’s exactly what’s happening right now.
An occlusion will come in from the west on Monday. This colder air will bring snow in the northwestern regions of the Alps. You can expect the most snow northwest of the line Grenoble-Arlberg. The snow line will be around 500-800 meters. In the first Alps of the Savoie, the Haute Savoie, Unterwallis (and western Wallis), the resorts north of the Swiss northern alpine ridge and Vorarlberg, I expect around 5-20 centimeters, locally even 30 centimeters of freshies between Monday afternoon and Tuesday evening. It will be a (little) powder day in the regions below on Tuesday and Wednesday:
The snowfall will expand into Salzburg and Steiermark on Wednesday, but it’s only 2-10 centimeters. Just enough to make the mountains look white again. Let’s be honest, Zell am See simply looks sad at the moment. The temperature is 12,6 degrees (pretty warm hey…), the meadows are green and the skies are grey.
It looks a bit different in the southern Alps, where it's still dumping in Airolo.
Nope, you’ll have to go to the southern Alps for a more than decent snowpack. The snowpack will settle the next couple of days and the freeride will be good in the forests with larch trees. The clear nights will suck some humidity out of the snow and you probably can find cold powder on the north facing slopes. You’ll have to pay attention above the treeline in the higher alpine. The wind kicked in and there was a lot of drift snow. The wind direction will turn north and will cause more drift snow on ridges and peaks. Check your daily avalanche bulletin and ride smart.
You’ll have to go to the Pyrenees for the real dump on Tuesday. It will snow heavily over there the next couple of days. Check out this forecast for the Pyrenees. It’s not quite sure what will happen in the Alps on the long term. The models are not sure what will happen. There are some trends for the long term: it will get colder and there’s quite a chance that the current will be west. It’s pretty clear what will happen this week though:
15-30 centimeters of freshies in the northwest
Sun, some snow and clouds in the northern Alps
Dry and sunny in the southern Alps from Tuesday
So, for the best powder you’ll head to the larch trees in the southern Alps and some freshies in the northwest. If you can’t ride powder yourself, you always can check out the first stop in the Freeride World Tour in Courmayeur. I expect that the contest will be on on Tuesday or Wednesday (something I already said on Thursday). You can check the livestream here.