Click on the forecast link and you might think that something is wrong with the snow maps. If you scroll down, you'll see an image with a rather depressing text: Ow snap! No snowfall at all during this period! While MeteoMorris is praying for us, you can checkout some freeride destinations that we've selected for you.*
A joke? Unfortunately not. If you have a look at the snow maps of Scandinavia and North America you'll see plenty of snow in the forecast. It's snowing somewhere, but not in the Alps. The first people are getting worried already and start asking me questions. When will it snow again? Will we have a white Christmas? Can we blame El Niño?
It's pretty understandable, but what is true? I delved into my data from the past years and found some information about the 2009/2010 season. A winter that had a lot of early snow fall, but November was as dry as it could be in the Alps. An active high-pressure storm forced all the depressions to follow a path towards Scandinavia. And exactly that is what's happening right now.
The NAO index is quite positive the next couple of days and when we look at the jet stream, you can recognize the same image from 2009. The depressions are heading to the Norwegian west coast, and the temperatures will drop big time during the weekend.
It is still too early to raise the flag for the 2nd powder alert, but the maps are looking good for Norway. Lower temperatures, precipitation and snowfall are coming up. The weather maps show a clear trend. It's getting colder from this weekend with continuous snow fall. That sounds great right?
After reading the 2009-2010 winter data again, I realized once again that there's no such thing as a bad winter. There are bad choices. After a good winter we tend to forget that riding powder is not something you can do anywhere, anytime. After a bad winters you might think that the conditions were terrible everywhere. Well, that is just not true. Powder is a choice. A choice you must make. I'll tell you when it is on and it's up to you to choose whether you go or not. And let me be honest .. Every (yes, every winter) has at least 10 PowderAlerts. That are ten moments during the season where you just have to go. Go to those destinations where it is on like Donkey Kong and immerse yourself in powder.
Absolutely, but not anytime soon. They might get a bit scared in Ischgl, where the webcams are showing white slopes with a northern exposition above 2200 meters, but green meadows everywhere else. But hey, if you invite the Beach Boys to perform at the opening weekend it just might be the perfect weather. Well, the weather maps don't go as far as the 28th of November, but it will remain dry in the Alps for the next ten days anyway.
Should we forget about the Alps and head up to Norway? Don't forget that the winter of '11-'12 begun terrible in the Alps (and in Norway as well). It started snowing on the 11th of December and didn't stop until mid-Janurary.
Be patient and lean back. Check out the Norwegian resorts, follow the dumps in North America and make sure your gear is good to go. Winter will come. Till that time, save your euros and pick a destination when it's ON!