No winter for a while in the Alps

By meteomorris on 7 December 2015 · 2

Did you know that global temperatures are about 0.2 degrees Celsius higher during El Niño years? This may be an explanation for the high temperatures the Alps have to deal with. After a cold September and October, the temperatures in November and the beginning of December are just too high in large parts of Europe. So far we have only issued three PowderAlerts this season. And although I have shown you that snowfall in the Alps and El Niño have no proven relation with each other, on days like this I just might think they have. I'm writing powder forecasts for over a decade and it only happened once that we had less than four PowderAlerts before Christmas. And yes, that was last season. The winter started not that good last year, but I tried to cheer you with the fact that late winters are better for the Northern Alps. Winter gave a sneak preview in the northern Alps at the end of November this season. And November, well, that's what we call early winter...

Searching for freshies in Alpe d'Huez
Searching for freshies in Alpe d'Huez

In short:

  • The short term will bring some snow
  • The temperatures are too high for the time of the year
  • There's some instability on the maps for the third week of December

High pressure is dominating, but some flakes will come down

Apparently, the weather maps earlier this month already knew what we see now. High pressure dominates the weather in the first two weeks of December, and only occasionally some clouds reach the northwest of the Alps. Some snow will come down in the north above 1500 meters on Wednesday. Great for the naked eye, but not that good for us. Lots of thin layers of snow are bad for the structure of the snow cover and will increase the risk of avalanches in the coming period. High temperatures and some centimeters of snow this week. Nothing special.

Some freshies on Wednesday
Some freshies on Wednesday

Increasing instability the week before Christmas

The maps are showing this increasing instability for a while, and if they are consistent next week will bring some redemption. Don't expect it to be deep winter immediately, but you can expect some depressions with precipitation. The 12th of December is still on the maps and there's some snowfall expected around the 18th as well. Are they really going to bring salvation? I do not know. My bet is on January. We need at least two good dumps in the northern Alps and at least an equal number of dumps for the Southern Alps. Let's just hope for everybody who booked their Christmas holidays that they'll have some good conditions.

And that's exactly why we started wePowder

This website is the result of years of development and progress, starting with an email to friends. wePowder is growing fast, but the objective remained the same. To give you a Go or No Go. Time and money are scarce resources and it's such a waste to arrive at your destination and find articifical or crappy snow, like you'll find in a lot of resorts in the Alps right now. Talks about 500 kilometers of slopes and lifts work well at the coffee machine at work, but the smile of your colleagues after a weekend of powder is priceless compared to a couple of days skiing on groomers with artificial snow. At least that's what we think. And so today, I can be brief: hold your horses! If you do not have an endless cash flow and plenty of time then you should wait for better times. Yes, you can certainly find some nice snow when touring in some parts of Switzerland and the French Northern Alps, but it will get better this winter!

Stay stoked,


  • void
    void op 7 December 2015 · 11:23
    Good thing I have mountainbiking as a backup. Bergeralm, Austria couple of days ago.

  • Willi
    Willi op 7 December 2015 · 11:33
    thanks Morris, we had an eye on this weekend for a long time, but i thinkg we will stay in hamburg for now... too bad, but still far better to arrive there and have almost no snow after a 7h drive... ;-D


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