Yes! Finally! A northern circulation started working yesterday and is not about to stop anytime soon. It's snowing in the northern Alps and that results in some images we've all been waiting for since the beginning of winter!
And this is only the beginning. Because it's Christmas and I'll just give you a quick summary of the weather forecast. For a more extensive analysis you'll have to read my forecast from yesterday. Yes, it's still green in France. It's starting to get painful for resorts like the Portes du Soleil.
But that's about the chance pretty soon. The storm depression will continue where the snowfall ends at the end of the day in Austria. Her name is Hiltrud and she'll bring huge amounts of snow. It will start in northwest of the Alps on Saturday and Sunday and after that the northern Alps of France will get their share.
The northwest of the Alps will be first in line and there will also be some snow for the far southeast. This is all planned for Saturday. Pretty annoying for the people who have to drive home this weekend, but really good news for the new guests. The bad weather that's coming in will cause some trouble on the roads for sure.
And it's getting better. It wasn't really sure how much snow the northern Alps would get, but I can tell now that the northern Alps will get more snow. A cold northern Stau will follow on Monday and Tuesday. And that are the best ones! Lots of cold air and humidity will result in dry pipapowder! More details about that tomorrow, but it will be on like Donkey Kong. The second Christmas week will be for the northern Alps and the difference can't be bigger compared with the first (and green) Christmas week. There no reason at all the cancel your holiday now! Austria (and especially the Vorarlberg and the Kleinwalsertal) will be great from Tuesday.
Warning: unstable snow cover!
Earlier this week we warned you for the unstable snow cover. It is thin and the layers are poorly bounded. You'll have to pay great attention with this new snow coming in. The snow cover often is very unstable and can form a good sliding layer for the freshies that will fall the next couple of days.
In addition to that, in most places in the northwest of the Alps there's little or even no base below 2000 meters. 50-100 cm of snowfall falling on top of nothing means that you hit the rocks pretty soon. Opt for mountain meadows because the chance that you hit something here is as good as nil. A disadvantage of the lower parts of the mountain is that they'll normally get less snow. 70 centimeter on the mountain is often only 20-40 centimeters in the valley. So pay attention.
A third risk is powder stress. This is the first dump for the northwest and you're not the only one hungry for first tracks. Especially during the holiday season. That means a real battle in the resort (but also in your head). You'll see people do things that you know are not smart, but that might also just to give you that little push to do stupid things. Be aware that the season is still long. What this week will be dangerous, will be much better later in the season. Have patience ... because a good freerider is an old freerider so the saying goes.
Why not? Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be sunny, but you'll have to search for some good accommodation. A place to stay right on the slopes will be hard to find, but with some searching, I found some good places pretty quick. I did some searches in Engelberg, A *** t, Chamonix and the Portes du Soleil and the Grand Massif. Start searching here and I'm sure you'll find something. Sometimes even at discounted prices.
It will get cold and the weather will calm down on Tuesday. It will be dry and sunny, but it stays cold. It might even get really cold next week starting on Tuesday, when cold arctic air is coming down to the Alps. And if this happens, there might be a chance that the Alps will get some cold smoke blower pow, Canadian style! This might be a great start of 2015! A start you don't want to miss. More details tomorrow!