Snowfall after the rain

By meteomorris on 8 January 2015 · 5

A powder day on Monday?
A powder day on Monday?

A weekend with highs and lows is here to arrive. Responsible for all of this is the jet stream that hardly drops to the south, making the Alps suffer with warm air and it's going to rain at high altitude. Winter '14 -'15 begins to look like winter '06 -'07. Will the winter really start or will it be as dramatic as '06-'07? Statistics show that winter is not over and that a late start of the winter often works out well for the Northern Alps. But that winter has to start one day!

In summary,

  • A No-Go for weekend warriors

  • Monday is a powder day

  • Long-term offers perspective

Short term: No-Go

Get your Gore-Tex out! Friday and Saturday will be a drama. Extremely warm air flows into the Alps and it will rain up to (far) above 2000 meters. On Sunday cold air will come in and the snow will fall deep into the valleys. Monday will be sunny and cold. Tuesday pretty hot.

Elon is on its way
Elon is on its way

It's storm Elon that puts everything upside down. The small low pressure small area is moving rapidly to the Alps today and will bring wind, really high temperatures and rain up to high altitude. You can expect hurricane winds on Friday in the high alpine and the snow will be transported once again. Temperatures in the valleys will rise up to the +10 degrees and higher. Even 20 degrees is possible. And as icing on the cake the snow line rises on Friday afternoon and the night right after to far above 2000 meters in the northern Alps. Personally, I am not sorry when the snow line even temporarily hits the 2800m and it will rain a lot. And by rain, I mean soaking the entire snowpack. The reason is that the incoming cold right after could solve a lot of problems in the snow cover. The snow cover is very unstable and it would be nice if storm Elon temporarily destabilizes things further and stabilizes it thereafter. But then everything must fit together precisely. Brief rain and warmth of short duration can exacerbate the problem even further. Well, in the middle of next week we will know how the snow cover is doing.

Extreme temperatures on Saturday
Extreme temperatures on Saturday

After the rain from Friday night to Saturday the temperatures will be extremely high on Saturday. Check out the temperatures at 1400 meters altitude above. Snow has an amazing insulating value good insulating property and only direct radiation from the hot (sun) and rain will beat up the snow cover heavily. That is especially true for the northern Alps and adjacent southern areas where rain is a problem. The sun on the other hand is so low that only southern faces will notice this. North faces have little trouble (if it is not raining, or there's a warm damp blanket). The redemption will follow on Sunday.

Incoming cold on Sunday
Incoming cold on Sunday

Cold air is coming in on Sunday and will still be snowing. The question is how long and how intense, but with the current turning to the northwest the prospects are good. Not that Sunday is a nice day. The slopes will freeze and the off-piste will feel like some kind of iced mogul field. It will get better on Monday.

Northern Alps

  • Thursday: Sunny, cloudy later in the day and snow in the evening.

  • Friday: Snow (5-25 cm) and wind. Snow line going up to 2200 meters.

  • Saturday: Warm, the last rain and wind. Sometimes sun. In the morning the freezing level will temporarily be around 2700 meters and it will rain up to high altitude.

  • Sunday: Snow (10-40 cm) and wind. Because the wind is coming from the west it might take a while before the hot air is gone. During the day the snowline drops to 1500 meters in the west in deep into the valleys in the east.

Western Alps

  • Thursday: Sunny, cloudy later in the day and in the evening some snow in the French Northern Alps.

  • Friday: A single flake and wind. Also sun.

  • Saturday: Warm, wind and sun. In the night from Friday to Saturday a drop of rain or snow in the French Northern Alps

  • Sunday: Snow (5-25 cm) especially in the north of the French northern Alps and wind. During the day the snow line drops to 1500 meters in the French Northern Alps. It won't snow in the French Southern Alps.

Southern Alps

  • Thursday: Sunny

  • Friday: Sunny with later in the day some snow in the north of the Dolomites and Lombardia. Snow line around 1800 meters. The Piedmont and Aosta keep it dry.

  • Saturday: Warm and sun. In the morning the freezing level will temporarily be around 2400 meters.

  • Sunday: Snow (2-10 cm) in the course of the day in the north of the Dolomites and Lombardia.

Powderadvice for this weekend: No Go!

Mid term: Monday is a powder day

Monday is a powder day in the Northern Alps and the north of the French Alps. It is cold, there is fresh powder and you can certainly find a nice line. Please note that the temperatures will go up during the day and the fact that the snow is still unstable. It is certainly not the dump of the century, but enjoy and get the most out of it. On Tuesday it will be warmer again and then ....

Ultralong term: it's coming.....

Het wordt een herhaling van zetten. Onderstaande schreef ik maandag en dinsdag al en kan ik vandaag wederom bevestigen. Het is nog veel te vroeg voor poederalert#6, maar wie hoop heeft... Jullie sneeuwdansjes lijken effect te hebben.

It's the same story again. I wrote the text below on Monday and Tuesday and can confirm it again today. It's way too early for PowderAlert #6, but this offers perspective. Your snow dances seem to have an effect.

_And the rest of the Alps? Will it be okay in the French Southern Alps and the Southern Alps? A number of runs are showing some snow on their maps in the south from the 15th / 16th of January, but that's all still very uncertain._A snow dance will not hurt, I'd say;).

The last runs seem to confirm this image. A south west current will start next week (snow for the south), it will be cold right after and snow will start falling in the west and the north. Keep on dancing!

Colder and snow?
Colder and snow?

Stay stoked!



  • sipfx
    sipfx op 8 January 2015 · 19:22
    it is perfectly visualised on - check it out.
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 8 January 2015 · 22:20
    @sipfx, wow! Are you the guy behind this project? Looks awesome.
    May the powder be with you.
  • sipfx
    sipfx op 9 January 2015 · 12:50
    It is my friend Ivosh. He is excellent pilot and snowkiter and also excellent programmer. He programmed this by himself and provide all free to use. He is big fan of weather predictions if I go with him it is always big day.
  • tackle
    tackle op 10 January 2015 · 11:24
    where to go monday???
    All you can eat!!!!!
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 10 January 2015 · 15:17
    @tackle, there will be an update on sunday
    May the powder be with you.


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