Over 50 centimeters of freshies already!


By meteomorris on 4 January 2016 · 25

Winter is definitely back! It's snowing in the western and northern Alps since Sunday evening and it will continue to snow this Monday morning. The sun will come out during the afternoon in the French Alps and it will start snowing again in the night to Tuesday. More sunshine on Tuesday and this could be THE day of the week to ride powder! But please ride with care: the avalanche danger is HIGH above 2200 meters. In this forecast:

  • Looking back: 15-45 cm of freshies and it's still snowing
  • Thin base in the French southern Alps, but decent base in the French northern Alps and western Wallis
  • Short term: more snowfall
  • Powder advice: Tuesday will be THE day!

Looking back: 15-45 cm of freshies and it's still snowing

It's snowing hard in the French Alps and western Switzerland since last night. The further east, the less snow came down. Up to 50 centimeters of snow came down in the west of Wallis and parts of the northern French Alps. Snow magnet Les Marecottes even got 54 cm at 2200 meters.

54 cm of freshies
54 cm of freshies

It's also snowing hard in the rest of western Valais and the Bernese Oberland snow. You'll find the measurements of this morning below. You can add another 10-20 centimeters of snow from the last two hours.

Most snow in the west
Most snow in the west

It's also snowing in the French northern Alps and the north of the French southern Alps. The wind is something to consider, because a lot of snow is transported in the high alpine. Another 10-30 centimeters come down in the west today. It won't snow that hard east of Engelberg anymore. From there up to the Arlberg you can expect 10-25 cm. It won't snow that much east of the Arlberg. You can expect the most snow in the Bauges, Beaufortain, Aravis, Chablais and western Valais. The sun will come out this afternoon and you'll find some great snow on the alpine meadows in those regions.

La Clusaz
La Clusaz

Verbier
Verbier

Nendaz (c)Thijs Kennis
Nendaz (c)Thijs Kennis

Thin base in the French southern Alps, but decent base in the French northern Alps and western Wallis

The conditions in the northern French Alps and the west of Wallis improved thanks to the snowfall on Saturday and last night. An overview of the current snow depths in the northern and southern Alps. In the French northern Alps and western Valais Alps you can currently find the following amounts of snow:

  • 1500 meter: 30-70 cm
  • 2000 meter: 40-120 cm
  • 2500 meter: 50-150 cm

Most snow can be found in the western regions, such as the Belledone, Beaufortain and Bauges, but the conditions are also good in the Chablais, Aravis, Tarentaise and Vanoise. The further south and east, the thinner the base. The French southern Alps clearly has less snow. A distinction should be made between the most northern areas of the French Southern Alps (Serre Chevalier, Puy St. Vincent, Risuol/Vars, Orcieres and Superdevoluy) and the areas that are situated more to the south.

  • 2000 meter: 15-40 cm
  • 2500 meter: 25-60 cm

Short term: more snowfall

The sun will come out in many parts of the western French Alps on Monday afternoon. But it will keep on snowing the longest in the Haute Savoie, western Wallis and the northern Alps. Monday afternoon will be great for some powder turns on the alpine meadows of the Belledone, Beaufortain, Aravis and the Bauges. You can expect more snowfall in the night from Monday to Tuesday, but the sun will come out on Tuesday. This will be a great day to ride powder, but please make the right decisions. The avalanche danger is HIGH at lots of places. More snow will come down on Wednesday, with cold temperatures. A warm front will kick in on Thursday and the snowline will rise towards 1600 meters or higher during the day. This will probably be the situation for the days after Thursday as well.

Powder advice: Tuesday will be THE day!

First: HIGH avalanche danger above 2200 meters. Stay as much as possible below 2200 meter to reduce the risks and avoid riding on slopes steeper than 35 degrees, and slopes with steep faces above you. Keep in mind that the wind have had huge influence on the snowpack in the high alpine. Small bowls and alpine meadows are the right place to ride powder. Monday you can already ride on the alpine meadows in the Belledone, Beaufortain, Aravis and the Bauges. Tuesday will be a powder day pretty much everywhere in the French northern Alps and the west of Wallis. The sun will come out, but there will still be 'Considerable' to 'High' avalanche danger. Some snowfall again on Wednesday. You better head to the bigger resorts in the Vanoise and Tarentaise from Thursday, because of rising temperatures.

Stay stoked, Morris

Comments


  • hansmal
    Advanced
    hansmal op 4 January 2016 · 14:33
    Thanks for another Powderalert - this page is awesome!!! 

    My girlfriend and I are considering to book a flight from Norway to the Alps 8.-17. January as snow starts picking up down there.

    What region/where would you recommend for this period (freeride/offpiste…)? Base plan is to fly to Milan and have a rental car.

    Recommend to book accommodation now or would it be better to wait and keep options open? We are afraid that everyone will go to the same places as I guess people are getting desperate…

    Thanks,
    Hans
  • meteomorris
    Tourist
    meteomorris op 4 January 2016 · 18:11
    @hansmal, Thanks. 8-17 January is low season in the Alps. Besides the weekends it should be fairly easy to find some accomodation. Make sure you have a car with winter tyres. These are not standard at Milano airport.

    Are you going for a roadtrip and willing to visit several resorts? Or would you rather stay in one resort?
    Cheers, Morris
    May the powder be with you.
  • Anticrobotic
    Tourist
    Anticrobotic op 4 January 2016 · 18:59
    Greetings from Argentière. Definitely more than 50 cm already. On the negative side two alpine climbers died in an avalanche yesterday.
  • camillaandersen
    Advanced
    camillaandersen op 4 January 2016 · 19:17
    @meteomorris In the forecast it looks like there will be yet another dump in the beginning of next week, in Val Thorens, for instance. What do you think about the longterm- forecast? Would you still wait for the next dump in Japan, or do you think it´s a good idea to head towards the northern French Alps tomorrow, already?
    Thanks!! 😃
  • meteomorris
    Tourist
    meteomorris op 4 January 2016 · 20:04
    @camillaandersen, What is your time frame?
    May the powder be with you.
  • camillaandersen
    Advanced
    camillaandersen op 4 January 2016 · 20:25
    We´re thinking of four weeks in Europe, driving around where the snow will take us. If Japan, we can afford 3 weeks in total. But definetly quality before quantity. Our plan was to go in January, but I find it really hard to decide... We´re ready to go on short notice, and were considering to go tomorrow.
  • meteomorris
    Tourist
    meteomorris op 4 January 2016 · 21:02
    @camillaandersen
    As of friday it will be turbulent in the Alps with a shifting freezing level. Loads of snow is expected above 2000 meters in the Northern French Alps. It will be cold again as of the middle of next week.

    During a 4 week roadtrip in the Alps for sure you will find powder. And I am here to guide your team. 😉

    @Anticrobotic Thanks for sharing. We heard the bad news.
    May the powder be with you.
  • 8611
    Tourist
    8611 op 4 January 2016 · 21:08
    Hi Morris, thanks for all your hard work, I am Geneva bound on Wednesday for a few days, thinking of skiing close to Geneva that day and then on to somewhere higher for the other days. Probably Val Thorens - what do you think? Sorry I just don't know what resorts are in what areas of the Alps when you recommend to head there. Is there more snow in other resorts? Thanks a million
  • meteomorris
    Tourist
    meteomorris op 4 January 2016 · 21:12
    @8611 with the warmer wether approaching on Friday, Val Thorens is a safe bet! Enjoy!
    May the powder be with you.
  • camillaandersen
    Advanced
    camillaandersen op 4 January 2016 · 21:18
    Yey @meteomorris, and thank you so much, again, for both good advices and stoke - the roadtrip starts tomorrow! 😀
  • Karlis
    Beginner
    Karlis op 4 January 2016 · 21:37
    Very sad news about the avalanche victims - they were Lithuanian climbers - I know there are some Lithuanians around this forum - I hope it's not @Laurynas (he is a climber from Lithuania).
    Heading to Valdisole at the end of the week - if they get some pow, then it's a very nice place - know it by heart. After that should go to Monterosa and Via Lattea - looks like pretty good conditions there.

    2 years ago got increadible pow there at around Christmas.
    Sending it :)
  • hansmal
    Advanced
    hansmal op 4 January 2016 · 22:36
    @meteomorris , it will be a roadtrip, open for 2-3 resorts, ideally 2. Any suggestions? Might be flying to Geneva instead of Milano.
  • Psytra
    Tourist
    Psytra op 4 January 2016 · 23:27
    Hey @meteomorris,
    thanks for that awesome site.. You should place a donation button somewhere on the page. I'm quite sure, there are many folks out there who would happily provide some kind of reward for your work..

    Now of course, I also have a question: What about the Eastern alps? Right now everything is about the West up to Arlberg. Is there a chance to have Good conditions in the Kitzbueheler alps by end of january? I couldn't find any Good information on that one, maybe you could provide me a small hint. That'd be great. Thank you very very much..
  • thomasweller
    Tourist
    thomasweller op 5 January 2016 · 04:03
    Greetings Meteo Morris!
    I think some others would agree with me that we live and die between your weather reports, you've got us hooked on your fantastic work, thanks so much!

    My band of merry-men are off to Serre Che on the 16th of Jan to 06 of Feb, and well, you can imagine that even with these storms we're seriously in trouble if we want to ski the trees...

    That aside, do you have any insight on the weather SPECIFICALLY referring to Serre Che? Why in La Grave it could be dumping whilst in SC only dusting, (they're only 40km apart)? From which storms does SC really benefit, Genea Lows, Retour d'Est, storms from the Atlantic? Any insight would be seriously appreciated cuz I just can't find anything on the web that explains when Serre Che gets the dumps. I just have the feeling you're the only one to turn to... Thanks in advance! Thomas
  • meteomorris
    Tourist
    meteomorris op 5 January 2016 · 10:38
    @Psytra Thanks. We don't have a donation button. We'd rather see that you support yourself and us. How? This fall together with Salomon and Atomic we launched the Mountain Academy (http://wepowder.com/academy). An online course to develop essential snow and mountain safety skills. This way we not only tell you where to go, but also give you the skills to come home again 😉.

    Buy joining the Academy (29 euros) you will support us and make sure we can improve this website even further. And you get access to a 24/7 online course. Is that a good deal?

    And regarding the Eastern Alps. There is a chance on (some) snow as of the middle of next week.

    @hansmal I would fly to Geneva. Winter tyres are pretty standard overthere. I would start on saturday , sunday and monday in the North western Alps (there is an update coming of myforecast so you'd better check the details there). Also for the next week the western Alps look good, although the southern alps are getting in shape also. So start in the Nortwestern Alps (aim higher because of temporary higher temperatures) and check my forecast again on Sunday. Than I can tell you where to go after.

    @thomasweller
    Conditions improved the last 36 hours. Check this report from Pelvoux (just one valley more to the west): http://wepowder.fr/forum/topic/219711. And the good news is... there is more snow to come. (my new update will be live within a few hours). Regarding SC and La Grave. SC gets most of the snow from the southwest, whereas La Grave gets most of the snow from the west. The Ecrins is the big barrier between those 2 resorts. Does this help?
    May the powder be with you.
  • meteomorris
    Tourist
    meteomorris op 5 January 2016 · 10:47
    @Karlis Yes we heard the news about the climbers (http://wepowder.com/forum/topic/219555). Every time some one is taken by an avalanche I'm shocked.

    Regarding Val di Sole. They had a dusting of snow the last few days. It looks like Saturday/sunday and monday will bring bigger amounts. For the moment it is impossible to do some off-piste at Val di Sole, but conditions might improve at the start of next week.
    May the powder be with you.
  • Dude
    Advanced
    Dude op 5 January 2016 · 12:18
    @meteomorris Hey Dude,
    first of all thanks for your awesome advices. Keep it going!

    May you can say me where i can find some good touring Conditions at the Weekend in Tyrol, or maybe the Arlberg. And do you know if theres anything like a northern stau or something is in the making? I'm praying
    Thanks in advance, Julian 😃
    The Dude abides.
  • meteomorris
    Tourist
    meteomorris op 5 January 2016 · 12:31
    @Dude, thanks. My new update will soon be live and there is a chance for a nordstau as of the middle of next week.

    Touring will be sketchy during the weekend. A warm front is approaching from the south west. Arlberg will be okay on Saturday. Sunday Föhn and most probably and incoming cold front later on the day. Details may shift during the next days!
    May the powder be with you.
  • thomasweller
    Tourist
    thomasweller op 5 January 2016 · 14:43
    Thanks MM!
    Maybe one day you can give insight to what a 'southern stau' means and how it affects Serre Che... Geez, that sounds a bit demanding doesn't it
  • thomasweller
    Tourist
    thomasweller op 5 January 2016 · 14:46
    Thanks MM!
    Maybe one day you can give insight to what a 'southern stau' means and how it affects Serre Che... Geez, that sounds a bit demanding doesn't it ??
    But with so many quirks and seperate weather systems affecting different parts of the Alps it would be cool to know what drives each one. We've got the NAO, the AO, blocking highs, Genoa Lows, Siberian snow cover, Arctic Ice cover etc, etc.. enough to make one dizzy!! So, if Serre Che benefits from south-west storms, how or why to these south/west storms even form? I'll stop now, I'm gett'n annoying! T.
  • Laurynas
    Beginner
    Laurynas op 6 January 2016 · 21:57
    @Karlis I was not part of that group. They where experienced climbers, very sad news for our climbing community...
  • Karlis
    Beginner
    Karlis op 7 January 2016 · 09:12
    @Laurynas - good to hear you are ok!
    Sending it :)
  • meteomorris
    Tourist
    meteomorris op 7 January 2016 · 11:11
    @thomasweller, these storms come from a jestream that encounters the Alps from the southwest. Does this help? If not I will start writing a book about it 😉
    May the powder be with you.
  • meteomorris
    Tourist
    meteomorris op 7 January 2016 · 11:11
    @Laurynas - good to hear you are ok!
    May the powder be with you.
  • thomasweller
    Tourist
    thomasweller op 7 January 2016 · 20:08
    Every little bit helps! If you sign the book for me you´ll be my hero 😃

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