Winter will be back in the Alps next week!

By meteomorris on 28 January 2016 · 4

A cold front will break through the band of warm air this weekend, but not for long, because warm air will arrive in the Alps again right after. We will have to wait till the middle of next week before cold polar air will reach the Alps again. Hold on for seven days, but winter will be back next week! If you want to ride some powder before that time, well... you'll have to search really good! In this forecast:

  • Some snowfall but temperatures will rise again right after
  • Hold your horses or go on a tour
  • Stay alert: very complex avalanche danger
  • Winter will return next week!
  • Norway is the place to be right now

Some snowfall but temperatures will rise again right after

A cold front will gently touch the northwest of the Alps on Saturday. It will lead to a temporary drop in temperature with a snowline that will drop somewhere between 1300 and 1700 meters on Saturday night. It's getting warmer again on Sunday and a warm front will arrive in the Alps in the night from Sunday to Monday. The freezing level will rise to a staggering 3000 meters. You can see this brutal rise of temperature on the image below. The yellow/orange area takes possession of the Alps, and as a result the snow that initially was very cold on Saturday will get slushy up to high altitude. Monday will be quite a dramatic day in the Alps.

Monday will be warm
Monday will be warm

Hold your horses or go on a tour

A front will reach the Alps at the end of the day. You can expect some freshies above 1500 meters and Friday will start white. It won't be more than a dusting, but hey, it's something. The sun will dominate the Alps till Saturday night. The conditions will be great to go on a tour and search for some untracked snow. There's no need to go up in the mountains after Sunday. The temperature and the snowline will rise. It will be quite dramatic in the Alps till Wednesday. The powder advice for the next couple of days:

You will find good touring conditions in the valleys deep in the Alps on Friday and Saturday in:

  1. Vorarlberg and Tirol,
  2. The north of the Salzburgerland and Steiermark,
  3. Berner oberland and Glanerland,
  4. Haute Savoie and Wallis,
  5. Savoie and Isère ,
  6. The north of the French southern Alps.

Stay alert: very complex avalanche danger

Lots of snow profiles show that the snowpack is still unstable. The situation right now is very similar to that of last year. An old snow layer can be found deep in the snowpack that causes the instability. When the weight of a single skier or snowboarder reached this this layer, it's is enough to disturb the delicate balance in the snowpack, causing the dangerous slab avalanche. This danger can't be seen with the naked eye. It led to many victims in winter '14 -'15 in a short time. The only solution is conservative riding (which means: not too steep!). This weak layer is present everywhere in the northwestern and northern Alps above 2000 meters and it is impossible to predict whether and where you are going to hit it. The use of proper decision methods is a must. If you have no idea what you're doing you're playing Russian Roulette. Check your local avalanche forecast every day and adapt your plans to it. Avalanche beacon, shovel and probe are a must. No knowledge?, go out with a mountain guide!

Winter will return next week!

It's not all that positive, but there's some good news. Winter will be back next week! The first indications appeared on the maps about two days agao and they even got stronger today. The dominant western jet stream is blocked and has to head north first before it will arrive in the Alps from the northwest. This will result in cold polar air and lots of snow! This will be a perfect start of February! I would wait for a week if I were you. I'll tell you in the beginning of next week where and when you'll need to be if want to hit the jackpot. The weekend of 5-7 February is looking good!

NAO index is dropping (and that's good news)
NAO index is dropping (and that's good news)

Norway is the place to be right now

If you don't have the patience to wait at least a week for some freshies, you should go to the southwest of Norway right now. A PowderAlert is ON till the end of next week. They already have a good base and there's more snow falling! But winter in the Alps will return next week!

Stay stoked! Morris


  • Dude
    Dude op 28 January 2016 · 12:26
    Hey @Meteomorris,

    first of all thanks alot for all your advice regarding the northern stau! It was an awesome Day!

    And second, is there stong Wind on Sunday? And what will the Temperature on Monday do? I'm thinking about Hochfügen next Monday, but with high Wind theres not much to do on the peaks, and it gets slushy pretty fast in the valley. But if there will be some powderturns to score i dont want to miss it 😉
    The Dude abides.
  • nathanbortolan
    nathanbortolan op 28 January 2016 · 12:43
    Hi @Meteomorris,

    don't you think it will be a Powder Monday in Courmayeur? It seems there bill be 50 cm of freshies from your forecast. Thank You!
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 28 January 2016 · 17:24
    @Dude @nathanbortolan, It will be to warm.
    May the powder be with you.
  • aistis
    aistis op 28 January 2016 · 19:04
    I am going to Val thorens on 11 th of February for a 10 days any ideas what weather conditions I can expect?


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