What will the temperature do?

By meteomorris on 19 January 2016 · 10

It was snowing heavily in the northern Alps since Thursday. The northern Stau delivered 50-80 cm, locally 100 cm of freshies in the pre-Alps. The resorts in the main alpine ridge had around 20-50 centimeters of freshies, but they already had a pretty good base. Monday was a bluebird day after four days of snowfall. It was time to ride some powder with friends. After some extensive powder research in the field I have to say that the quality is pretty good, but that there was quite some powder panic as well. Please take extra care above 1800-2000 meters. Wind combined with a weak base layer requires extra knowledge. It's only January the 19th and already 27 people got killed due to avalanches. Three of them were teenagers. In this forecast:

  • Light snowfall on Tuesday and Wednesday
  • It might freeze, it might thaw

Light snowfall on Tuesday and Wednesday

A weak depression enters the Alps from the west on Tuesday. The first indications were already visible on Monday. The clouds will come in from the west and it will start snowing lightly in the French Alps on Tueday. The snowfall will expand to the northern Alps during the day, but it won't snow in the southern Alps. Some snow will come down on Wednesday, but the sun will come out again on Thursday. Expect 2-10 cm, locally 15 cm of freshies. It's not enough to fill the existing tracks with fresh snow, but thanks to the low temperatures the powder remains cold and fresh. The sun only has impact on the snowpack on steep southern slopes.

It might freeze, it might thaw

It's still a big question what will happen after Friday. It varies from calculation to calculation. It remains cold according to GFS with a chance of freshies during the weekend. High temperatures will only kick in somewhere in the middle of next week. ECMWF is more pessimistic and already sees the warm air coming in during the weekend. A lot of uncertainty. And that's why I'll ride the powder that's still there this Tuesday. It will be a day with treeruns today! It won't be like the conditions we had on Monday!

The powder advice is still the same like the days before, but keep in mind that it will be harder to find untracked slopes. Sometimes you'll have to be patient. And sometimes you'll have to search really hard.

Stay stoked, Morris


  • thomassætren
    thomassætren op 19 January 2016 · 09:13
    Hello Morris,
    Can you give us some hints about next week? We are 7 people traveling from Norway.
    We fly to Milan, and car from there.
    No bookings, and free mileage😃

  • Matteo_DG
    Matteo_DG op 19 January 2016 · 11:16
    From Milan you are close to Airolo and Andermatt. Then you can easily travel to Engelberg-Titlis and then to Voralberg-Arlberg.

    If you prefer big mountain, you have to travel west to Val d'Aosta... La Thuille and Courmayer Mount-Blanc could be very nice at the moment. Also Cervinia, Gressoney, Champoluc are in good conditions.

    Forget Dolomites if you want to ride some pow. Great landscape, good groomed slopes but definitely no snow off-piste at the moment...
  • Stevejn
    Stevejn op 19 January 2016 · 16:33
    Conditions in La Thuile yesterday were nowhere near as good as on the French side in La Rosiere. Much less snowfall and some areas were stripped by the wind. The rocks were still showing in the areas 1900m -2400m. Up higher there was better cover as the heavy snow in La Rosiere had crept over to the summits. The conditions in the San Bernardino pass were much better.
  • thomaserixon
    thomaserixon op 20 January 2016 · 12:07

    Thanks for great weather services!

    We're a bunch of people planning on going south from Sweden on saturday the 23:rd. Right now we are deliberating on two options, either Val Thorens or St Anton. What's your opinion on where to go if we want to maximize our chances for some fresh powder the coming week?


  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 20 January 2016 · 13:16
    @thomassætren When are you flying?
    @thomaserixon How long are you going? Going for a road trip or a fixed resort? What are you looking for? Touring conditions or fresh pow?
    May the powder be with you.
  • thomassætren
    thomassætren op 20 January 2016 · 15:26
    @meteomorris, we are flying to Milan.
    10 day trip with exit from Milan sunday 30.01.
    No fixed resort and we could bring touring-gear if necessery.

    We see that the temperatur is rising in the south/west. But is this the case in all the resorts/valleys? Should we go north to St. Anton area?
    Roadtrip is of course an option😃

  • Bacak
    Bacak op 20 January 2016 · 15:45
    Hey @meteomorris,

    We are 4 boarders leaving Netherlands this Friday night by car for a week and we are looking for fresh pow, we can reach anywhere in the Alps or even in Scandinavia, what would you recommend for us? I know there are still uncertainties for the next week but what would be your suggestion?


  • thomaserixon
    thomaserixon op 20 January 2016 · 23:17
    Hi @meteomorris

    We're aiming for simplicity this time, so one resort, one week. The option that have been on the table has bern Val Thorens, St Anton or maybe Val d Isere. Most likely no touring. Short hikes ok, but no longer adventures.

    Any suggestins welcome!

  • sebastianullberg
    sebastianullberg op 21 January 2016 · 02:31
    Hi @meteomorris

    We are traveling from Sweden to the alps for six weeks by motorhome on friday and we are in a wild debate on where our first stop should be. We were aiming for Portes du solei / Champery or even heading down to Chamonix. Seeing as we are traveling by a motorhome it gives us a lot of mobility on where to go, but with the higher freezing levels and the overall rising temperatures in the western alps it's very difficult to come to a conclusion. Do you have any recommendations for us where to start?

    Thanks for a great website btw!

  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 22 January 2016 · 17:11
    @thomassætren I would go for upper valais as a start. See my hints in this topic: http://wepowder.com/forum/topic/221669

    @Bacak I would go to Scandinavia. Short term will be warm, but the long term looks really good: http://wepowder.nl/forecast?region=3&period=0 Jetstream is focusing everything on western Norway.
    @sebastianullberg see my reply in another topic
    @thomaserixon one resort? there is no real powder in the forecast and most of the bigger resorts are already tracked. Than it would be Val Thorens. There is always a hidden spot to be found in the 3 vallees.
    May the powder be with you.


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