The first southern Stau of the season is in effect and it was ON yesterday in parts of the southern Alps. We've received some nice footage from the Hautes Alps. It's deep! Thanks to an incoming warm front it's quite challenging today, but the snow line will drop in the afternoon and it will be ON again tomorrow. The conditions are great already in the resorts where the snow is coming in from the south, like Courmayeur. In this forecast:
It's snowing in parts of the southern Alps since this morning. It's snowing heavily south of the Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa where they already had around 20-40 cm of freshies at 2000 meters altitude. The snow line is dropped to around 1200 meters. It was very different in the western Alps where the snow line fluctuated at around 1800 meters and it rained up to high aljtitude. There wasn't any precipitation in the northern Alps and they had to deal with a strong Föhn wind.
The cold front arrived in the west and the snowline is dropping. The precipitation is moving east and this results in snowfall for the rest of the southern Alps (including the Dolomites). A cold front arrives as well and this is the reason why it's still snowing heavily (especially on the border between Switzerland and France) in the western Alps. The northern Alps will also get quite a bit of snow. Not as much as in the southern Alps or on the border of Valais and the Haute Savoie, but it will be enough for a powder day in the Arlberg and in the northern Stau regions in the Salzburgerland and Steiermark. Check out the snowmaps. You can ride powder already in the southern Alps, especially near the Gotthard, Monte Rosa and Courmayeur.
Thursday will be a great day. It starts with plenty of sunshine everywhere, but the western Alps will have to deal with incoming clouds pretty soon and it will start snowing again in the evening. A ski area with lots of trees will be a good choice. It will snow heavily in the French Alps on Friday. A warm front is coming in on Saturday and that limits your options for the weekend. Even though there's a cold front passing in the night to Sunday, chances are that another warm front will kick in again on Sunday, bringing snowfall to the southern Alps and a Föhn storm to the northern Alps.
PowderAdvice for Wednesday:
PowderAdvice for Thursday:
PowderAdvice for Friday:
It's still pretty far away, but this is my advice for the weekend for now. There are some warm fronts coming in again on Saturday and Sunday, so you can find good snow in the trees of Courmayeur, the Monte Rosa and in the north of the Hautes Alpes. Zermatt could be a good option as well. More details on Thursday!
It's a strange winter in the Alps. The snow came late and the snow cover is still unstable in a lot of places. The snowfall in the southern Alps won't solve that problem the next couple of days. There is no such thing as a base in the southern Alps, and if it's there it's just as bad as in the rest of the Alps. If you don't have any knowledge it's hard to recognize the dangers. You should always use risk filtering methods to make the right decisions, no matter how big the stoke is. Always check your local avalanche forecast and adapt your plans to it. Always carry an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe. If you have no knowledge, go out with a mountain guide.
Stay stoked. Morris