Where will the 100 cm of snow come down?

By meteomorris on 17 November 2015 · 2

Up to 100 centimeters of snow in the forecast and dropping temperatures awoke the European freeriders. Winter is coming. But will it stick around for a while? We got a lot of questions through Facebook, Twitter and wePowder. If you have a question, you can drop it in the comments below this article. The most important one obviously is: where will it snow this weekend? In this forecast:

  • Retrospect
  • Where and why will it snow this weekend?
  • How much snow can I expect in my region?
  • What about safety?
  • Where to go?
  • The long term:
  1. Will it snow in the southern Alps?
  2. Will winter stick around for a while?


Quite a lot of snow came down in October, but November was dry and warm until now. The result is that there's no snow below 2400 meters and you'll have to search for snow above 2400 meters on north faces. The snow that's still there transformed into sugar or is really hard. Not quite a good base for a new layer of fresh snow to fall on.

Old snow in Courchevel
Old snow in Courchevel

Rocks in Engelberg
Rocks in Engelberg

Green slopes in Sankt Anton am Arlberg
Green slopes in Sankt Anton am Arlberg

Where and why will it snow this weekend?

The high pressure blockade that controlled the Alps for three weeks is moving and that opens the door for some depressions. The jet stream that I was talking about in this article is no longer led around the Alps, but is heading straight towards our favourtite mountain region.

Jet stream = green arrow
Jet stream = green arrow

The jet stream is bringing cold air from the northwest and this cold air hits the French Haute Savoie and the westen of Wallis, and it will start to snow right after in the Isère and Savoie and the Swiss northern alpine ridge. All these details may change the next couple of days, but it definitely gives you a good idea of what will happen.

Snow for the northwest
Snow for the northwest

Snow for the French northern Alps
Snow for the French northern Alps

Because the storm depression is pushed away to the east Austria and the Balkans are next. The center of gravity is moving to the east on Saturday and it begins to snow in the Austrian main alpine ridge.

Snow for Austria
Snow for Austria

Because warm and cold air will collide the snowline may fluctuate in the coming days. I hope to have a clear picture on Thursday, but for now it look that the snow line will drop deep into the valley on Saturday.

How much snow can I expect in my region?

If want to see how much snow will come down in your region, go to the the snow maps of the Alps and zoom in on your favorite region. You'll see the top resorts with the most snowfall listed below the maps.

Top 10 for this weekend
Top 10 for this weekend

What about safety?

Keep in mind that the season is just getting started. There's no such thing as a base and if there is one, it consists of sugar snow and is very unstable. There will be a lot of wind, a lot of resorts are still closed and the resorts that are open have a rocky surface (sharks) or crevasses on the glacier. Keep it simple and ride safe. This is the time of the season to check your gear and check your knowledge. Keep in mind that already nine people are killed because of avalanches in the Alps.

Where to go?

Many resorts are still closed, but some glacier regions are already open. Sunday, but especially on Monday the sun will come out. It will be a good day on the slopes of Tignes, Pitztaler glacier, Sölden, Stubaier glacier, Kaprun and the Mölltaler glacier. And what about Zermatt and Saas Fee? They don't get that much of snow when the snow comes from the northwest. The other option is hiking up yourself. Alpine meadows, slopes with a grassy surface (not too steep) will provide the perfect terrain to go for a tour.

The long term

Is winter here to stay and will it snow in the Southern Alps? Yes and maybe. Until the end of this month,a lot cold air will reach the Alps and there's room for more snowfall. Are the Southern Alps going to benefit? Maybe. There's some good news for the Southern Alps on the map around November 26.

Stay stoked


  • AdamStekl
    AdamStekl op 18 November 2015 · 08:32
    the new wepowder website is just unreal. Thanks for what you are doing.
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 18 November 2015 · 16:19
    @AdamStekl THANK YOU!!!
    May the powder be with you.


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