PA #6: Megadump!

By meteomorris on 14 January 2015 · 1

The maps are turning red
The maps are turning red

A short update today, I'm spending some time on the mountain. In this forecast you'll find the most important details and a couple of nice maps. And the good thing is that all the maps agree. It will be a megadump for:

  • western Alps south (from Saturday morning)

  • southern Alps central (from Saturday morning)

  • southern Alps east (from Sunday morning)

You'll find our own snowmap above and the WRF and the GFS confirm our own findings. It will be on like Donkey Kong!

WRF says: megadump
WRF says: megadump

GFS says: megadump
GFS says: megadump

You can find the more detailed forecast here. You'll find the summary below.

1. Storms Gunter and Felix bring the 1st dump towards the northwest of the Alps. First, some flakes of snow on the south side, but the most snow will fall in the northwest. Expect 20-35 centimeters of freshies in the northwest Stau regions of the French Northern Alps and the Northern Alps. That looks like this.

Snow for the northwest
Snow for the northwest

2. Storm Hermann will follow on Thursday night and brings the 2nd dump. This time snow for the west and south. On the night of Thursday to Friday it already starts snowing south of the Gotthard and the Piz Bernina (or the southern Alps central) and southwest of Mont Viso and the Ecrins (or the western Alps south) and it will continue to snow in the south until Sunday. You can find all the details here.

Where to go?

  • You can ride powder in the northwest of the Alps on Thursday, but the temperatures may get too high. There's no snowfall in the south.

  • Friday will be a struggle. There is already a lot of snow during the day around Isola 2000 and south of the Gotthard, but it is not yet deep enough not to hit the hard base layer. Remember that it's almost one and a half month ago since the last significant snowfall.

  • Saturday is the day ... although, where can you find a significant base? Where you can ride in the trees? The skiable snow line in the west and south will be around 2000 meters. Yet I see opportunities around the Maloja, Isola and some areas in the Hautes Alpes.

  • The sun comes out in the west on Sunday and it will be a great day in for example La Grave. The base is pretty good above 2400 meters and you might even be able to ski P1.

Will there be a third dump?

It will remain cold, even after the weekend. More snow for the western Alps and for the southern Alps. It will be deep. More advice tonight.

Don't forget!

Avalanche caused a lot of fatalities the last couple of weeks. If you're heading to the Alps the next couple of days, be alert. Choose resorts with trees and ride powder especially between the trees. Check your local daily avalanche bulletin, make sure you have the right gear with you and that you have the right knowledge. No knowledge? Are you not sure? Say no to off piste and wait for conditions to improve. The season is still long.

Wax up!



  • AndersBj
    AndersBj op 15 January 2015 · 22:34
    Thx for your updates so far!!
    Can you see any possible answers for this: US, Europe or Scandinavia in week 5??

    We have postponed any flight options to last minute. We live on the west coast of Norway where living is currently fantastic and we are running out of snow records... Week 5 we planned a trip to Utah, but conditions are not that good. Looking at alternatives in Europe or just staying at home in scandinavia. Any hints on your way, or when will you look that far into the future?
    No friends on powderdays..


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