Six more days before winter comes back!

By meteomorris on 29 January 2016 · 2

The countdown to the comeback of winter has started. But we have to deal with some turbulent weather on Sunday and pretty high temperatures on Monday. It will definitely snow in the high alpine on Sunday, but because of the wind, rising temperatures on Monday and the acute avalanche danger, I'd think twice before riding off-piste. Let's wait till winter comes back a couple of days later. In this forecast:

  • New storms coming up (PowderAlert #6)
  • This weekend will be turbulent
  • Powder advice for the next couple of days

New storms coming up (PowderAlert #6)

We can start the countdown for the comeback of winter. We will have to wait six more days and it's too early to tell which regions will hit the jackpot, but the snow will definitely come down. The current is turning to the northwest from Wednesday and this opens the gate for the cold air from the north. A front will arrive at the Alps in the middle of next week and it will start snowing heavily in the northwest of the Alps. These are the snow maps for next Wednesday at the moment, but obviously things can and probably will change a bit.

Forecast for Wednesday the 3rd of February)
Forecast for Wednesday the 3rd of February)

The big question is what will happen with the jetstream. If it will stick around west of the Alps, we can get ready for the first southern Stau of this winter bringing lots of freshies to the French Southern Alps and Italy. This will also mean that the temperatures will rise north of the main alpine ridge. However, if the jet stream will position itself exactly over the Alps, than we can get ready for more snow and cold temperatures in the northwest. The models are struggling with these two scenarios. But the northwest of the Alps will get some snow in the middle of next week first.

This weekend will be turbulent

But we've got an interesting Sunday coming up first. A cold front will gently touch the Alps on Saturday and Sunday. A warm front follows in its slipstream, bringing lots of wind, a snow line rising to 2200 meters in the west and to 1800 meters in the east, rising temperatures, but also heavy snowfall above 2000-2400 meters. The colors on the snow maps are interesting, but there also are a lot of warnings.

The temperatures will especially rise in the night to Monday. It will be warm on Monday and the combination of wet snow (you'll only find dry snow above 2600 meters), lots of wind and a rising temperature results in an acute avalanche danger. I wouldn't go out for a tour and you probably can only ride some powder close to the slopes. But take extra care and check the risks before going off-piste.

Powder advice for the next couple of days

The sun will come out from the west today and will dominate the weather (don't expect too much clouds) in the Alps till Saturday evening. Perfect conditions for a tour to find some untracked powder. You can go home on Sunday. Temperaturs will rise and the conditions will pretty much suck in the Alps till Wednesday. 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.

Take care on Monday and the countdown to PowderAlert #6 has started:

Winter will come back!
Winter will come back!

Stay stoked. Morris


  • davidhemingway
    davidhemingway op 29 January 2016 · 17:23

    What is going to happen on Monday?
    Valleys wiped of snow from all the rain in the morning, top then get's so hot it all slide back to the valley in the afternoon then freezes at night!
    Is this going to stabilise the pack and refresh it or turn it 3inch crust ?

    Great site by the way.

  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 30 January 2016 · 23:43 May the powder be with you.


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