It was warm in the Alps on Monday. Locally the temperatures even hit the 20 degrees! After a weekend with rain, sometimes up to 2400 meters altitude, winter seemed further away than ever. But don't worry, winter will return. PowderAlert #9 is coming up and you can start waxing your board or skis again. Especially the northwest of the Alps will get hammered (again). There's a chance that the southern Alps will get a lot of freshies by the end of this week as well. Winter is getting ready for the comeback of the season and there's plenty of powder on its way. If you are travelling to the Alps the next couple of days and you want to support wePowder and this forecast, book your accommodation using this link. We receive a small percentage of every booking made through this link and this helps us a lot to improve wePowder and advice you even better. Thanks in advance! In this forecast:
It is still warm this Tuesday morning and the snow line is still at fairly high altitude, but the cold air is coming and already reached the south of Germany. The current from the north slowly pushes the warm air to the south and it will start snowing. Expect some heavy snowfall in the northwest of the Alps especially on Tuesday afternoon and evening.
The cold and warm air keep on battling above the Alps. This results in lots of freshies and a shifting snowline especially in the northwest of the Alps. It will rise to 1500 meters (or even higher) and will rapidly drop again. Warm air from the south is trying to reach the Alps again on Wednesday, but the cold temperatures finally win the battle and reach the Alps in the night to Thursday.
A look at our snow maps says it all. The maps are showing the colors we all like to see on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It's colder and the snow will fall deep into the valleys. You will find great powder in the northwest of the Alps. The sun will come out over there on Thursday and Friday.
Tuesday is tricky day. You can still feel the old layer and it will take a while before it is deep enough. In addition, the wind is a major factor. It will transport a lot of snow, which will have its effect on the avalanche danger. Always check the local avalanche forecast and adapt your plans to it. Avalanche beacon, shovel and probe are a MUST. If you don't have any knowledge, start working on it or go out with a mountain guide.
The most snow will come down in the northwest (the area between Chambéry in the west and the Arlberg in the east). You can expect 40-80 cm of freshies above 2000 meters, locally even more. Below that altitude you can expect 20-50 cm of freshies, depending on the snowline. My advice is to ride powder between 1700 and 2200 meters on Tuesday and Wednesday. It will be colder on Thursday, so this gives you more options to ride deeper into the valley.
It gets interesting on Saturday. There's something special on the maps. Something we haven't seen all winter. A jetstream that chooses to head south from the north. And east of the jetstream we see some cold air travelling from the Bay of Biscay, towards the Iberian Peninsula and to the Mediterranean. Once it reaches the Mediterranean this cold air mixes with the warm and humid air and: BAM!!!
BAM!!! This is the kind of fireworks we normally see in November, but that's new this winter. A Genoa-low is developing out of nothing and if the maps don't lie we can get ready for the biggest dump of the winter between Friday afternoon and Monday morning. The Piedmont, southern Valais and Tiscino will get hammered. PowderAlert # 10 could be the deepest dump this winter. Not necessarily with the driest snow (I can tell you more about that in let's say 72 hours when the maps contain more details), but it will snow. Hard!
As always the devil is in the detail and there is still a chance that things change. Getting there on Saturday and being there when the dump starts probably is the best advice. You can ride in the trees on Sunday and Monday (if the lifts are open) and you'll just have to wait and see what happens next.
The powderchase for this week:
More details tomorrow. If you already want to book your accommodation: support wePowder and use this link.
Stay stoked, Morris