Yesterday was a bluebird day and you could see it happening on the reports page. Deep powder and sun. Today (Wednesday) is another great day with sun and lots of freshies from PowderAlert #16. But today also marks the end of some nice weather in the northwestern regions of the Alps and it's time to get ready for PowderAlert #17. You could check out the headlines in yesterdays forecast, more details in this forecast.
I get lots of questions about the snow cover, so you'll find an overview of the depths of the snow cover per region at 2000 meters altitude and the snow line below. If you want to know more about the stability of the snow cover, check out your local avalanche bulletin through this service.
Northern Alps east: 40-110 cm, snowline around 600-1100 meters
Northern Alps central: 45-120 cm, snowline around 500-1000 meters
Northern Alps west: 65-130 cm, snowline around 1000 meters
Western Alps north: 90-150 cm, snowline around 1000 meters
Western Alps central: 80-180 cm, snowline around 800-1300 meters
French southern Alps: 110-290 cm, snowline around 900-1200 meters
Southern Alps west: 160-350 cm, snowline around 600 meters
Southern Alps central: 70-350 cm, snowline around 400-1000 meters
PowderAlert #17, the details
The first front passes from Wednesday to Thursday and will bring 5-15 centimeters of freshies between the line Grenoble-Arlberg on Thursday morning. The second front will come in on Thursday. The western regions of the Alps will have to deal with warmer air of this warm front around noon, but the cold front will come in in the afternoon and the snow line will drop rapidly. The snowfall expands into the other regions of the Alps during the night. You can check it out on the Föhn chart below.
The incoming warm front will cause a strong southern Föhn on Thursday, that will weaken and disappear as soon as the cold front comes in on Thursday. The northwestern regions of the Alps will see lots of cold freshies when the sun comes up on Friday morning. Friday morning will be one of these mornings you don’t want to miss when you’re in the Mont Blanc region. Waistdeep cold freshies. In the other regions in the northwestern Alps you’ll get some face shots as well.
Don’t wait too long. The wind will get stronger on Friday and a new front from the southwest will come in. This will result in snow (and rain below 1800 meters) in the western Alps. This precipitation will expand into the southern Alps central in the night from Friday to Saturday.
Powder advice Friday
Let’s have a closer look at the Föhn chart. You can see that a southern stau situation is forming on Saturday. The temperature will drop as a result of this stau and it starts snowing deep into the valleys. You can expect the snow line to drop to 1100 meters in the southern Alps central and around 20-35 centimeters of freshies. In the meanwhile, a Föhn storm will kick in in the other regions of the Alps. The winds are heavy with a freezing level around 2000 meters or even higher. Watch out for drift snow!
Powder advice Saturday
A new front with cold air will pass from the northwest on Sunday. The wind will turn from the southwest to the northwest. The precipitation zone of this front is exactly at the border of the cold and warm air and its moving very slow. I expect the most snow in the western and southern Alps, where resorts that always get the most snow with snow from the southwest will hit the jackpot. I’d pick a resort with larch trees on Sunday. More details later this week.
Some hope remains. The really high temperatures seem to disappear next week and there are still some chances for good snow. Will that dump arrive before the holidays. More tomorrow. Check out the meteogram for Austria. It will get colder with chances of precipitation.