I announced PowderAlert #6 yesterday. Finally the snow will come to the western Alps and probably finally snow again for the Southern Alps as well. It all started with the following passage on January the 5th: And the rest of the Alps? Will it be okay in the French Southern Alps and the Southern Alps? A number of runs showed snow 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 confirm this image. Starting next week, a southwest current (snow in the south) first and then cold temperatures and snow for the west and north. Keep on dancing!!
Almost 10 days before PowderAlert #6 came along the first signs were already on the weather maps. We really needed this, but we had to deal with last Saturday. It was 20+ degrees and the snow has had a big blow. In this report we focus on PowderAlert #6. But first to Norway, because it is on like Donkey Kong over there. Again.
Norway is ON!
For the second time this winter it's really deep in Norway. On the reports pages you'll find more images from Norway that are pretty awesome. And it's not going to stop anytime soon. Find all the details on the forecast page of Scandinavia.
The days are getting longer, there is a lot of snow at the moment, there aren't a lot of riders around and the flights to Norway are not too expensive at the moment. What's holding you back? Well, it might be PowderAlert #6 that is pointing your eyes on the Alps.
PowderAlert#6, short term
Today was a powder day in the Alps. Certainly nothing special, but the fresh snow is pleasant after the rain on Friday and Saturday. Because of the rain, the snow gained some stability below 2000 to 2200 meters in the northern Alps, the situation above that altitude didn't really improve. And the wind is still blowing strong.
The snow cover consists of several unstable layers and it will be like that for a while. The incoming storm violence is worrying for the Western and the Southern Alps. Sugar snow (Facetted snow) can be found on a lot of slopes and you can expect a lot of freshies that will fall on top of these layers. All this is also accompanied by strong winds and so the recipe for an unstable snowpack is still present. Let's hope for significant amounts of snow, because the snow cover really needs a massive amount of snow at the moment to solve all the problems. But whatever happens ... the situation in the coming week will continue to be very unstable. If you go to the Alps the next couple of days, please be alert. Check your local daily avalanche bulletin, make sure you have the right gear with you and that you have the right knowledge. The next few days I keep monitoring the situation and I will include this in my updates.
Storms Gunter and Felix
The first ones to fire their fronts to the Alps are the storms Gunter and Felix. With a southwesterly flow chart this will result in a southern Föhn on Wednesday and will change to a northern Föhn after that. All typical for a storm from the west where the wind turns to the southwest during the warm fronts and it is snowing in the western and southern Alps, while during the cold fronts the wind turns to the northwest and it is snowing in the western and northern Alps. And the frequent reader regularly sees the western alpine in the updates, but the expert knows that southwestern currents can surprise the southern Alps with snowfall.
How does that look like? Well Wednesday is only the beginning. First, some flakes will come down in the southern Alps and in the northwest. Certainly no large quantities, but you can already get used to the rhythm of southwest and northwest.
On the top left of the map you can see storm Hermann. Nothing special you might say. Small and not a super low air pressure, but it will be fires up the next 72 hours. It will get much more powerful and will come in from the southwest. It will cause some significant snowfall in the southern Alps and in the meanwhile the wind is strong and the temperatures are high in the northern Alps on Thursday. The cold front will come in on Friday and it will snow in the northwest of the Alps as well. How it will continue after that is not clear yet.
Important details the next couple of days
As I said: And the frequent reader regularly sees the western alpine in the updates, but the expert knows that southwestern currents can surprise the southern Alps with snowfall. The devil lies in the details. Because a small shift means more south, or more west. Tomorrow I'm going to continue with more details. I hope to give you a good impression of what areas are going to pick up most of the snow. But that snow will come down in large quantities is certain. In addition, this type of fronts are also good for snow across the Alps, so that everyone gets some freshies.
The next few days are going to be exciting, but if I can already give you some advice:
Keep this weekend and possibly Monday and Tuesday free
Find some friends to ride with
Check out the avalanche bulletins
Make advance arrangements with yourself that you are going to ride safely despite all the powder stress
Wax up and put your gear ready
The next 72 hours are going to be very nice. Every day an update on the home page. Let's hope that this dump will leave a solid foundation base in the trees so that we can ride infinite tree runs the rest of January and February.