Yes, lots of snow already came down, there's still snow falling today and there's more to come later this week. The snow maps are showing some red colors, the temperature is dropping, some mountain passes are closed already and the SLF published an avalanche forecast. November will be all about safety on wePowder, simply because we want you to have more knowlegde and awareness about riding in the backcountry. More about that later, because now it's time for PowderAlert #1. Winter is here!
In this forecast:
I mentioned last week that the snow line would be going up and down and it turned out that I was right. It all started white in the French southern Alps, but the snow line started rising to up to 2000 meter thanks to the incoming warm front. The images on the webcams became gray instead of white.
Same story in other resorts. The temperature in Sestrière got above zero degrees Celsius during Saturday after a pretty cold night. It didn't even freeze during the night to Sunday. Too bad, because 46 cm of freshies came down since Friday evening. There's only 30 cm left on 2100 meter altitude thanks to high temperatures, rain and wet snow and you can imagine that the quality is not like cold blower pow anymore.
The freezing level started rising to 2600 meters (and even higher) on Saturday. The temperature was even above zero on the Col Agnel. Fortunately, the temperature dropped again over there later that day and it snowed again during the night. The snowcover measures around 70 cm. Perfect for a tour on Monday.
I've been looking back at my forecast from Thursday with all kinds of data (temperature, snowfall, etc) and fortunately the forecast was pretty good. I always try to mention all kinds of details, since details can make the difference between a great trip or a good trip.
The cold front has arrived at the time of writing and the temperatures are dropping from the northwest. It's snowing now in the higher parts of the Jura and the snow line drops rapidly in the next couple of hours, so it will finally snow in lots of alpine valleys. The freezing level dropped below 2000 meters in Gstaad and that instantly reminded me of the great day we had there last winter.
The front is moving slowly to the east, thanks to the incoming cold air. And because most snow will come down on this border of cold and warm air the next 24 hours, you can expect most snow to come down around the Italian Ortler, in the southern Swiss Engadin and resorts on the border with Austria and Italy.
It will first rain in the valleys, but the snow line will drop and you can expect snow deep into the valleys in the afternoon. But not in France, because the sun will come out over there in the afternoon.
A high pressure area will bring some sunshine to the west on Monday and will bring some nice weather to the east on Tuesday. There's a new front coming in from the northwest on Tueday and this front will bring lots of freshies again.
The snowfall for Wednesday and Thursday is already visible on our snow maps. You can expect 50 to 100 cm of freshies for the high alpine in the resorts in the northwest of the Alps (from Chambéry via Engelberg to St. Anton am Arlberg). It will be cold enough till Friday, but... the weather models assume right now that a warm front will pass from Friday to Saturday. Anyway, Saturday is six days ahead and details can still change!
This storm will bring lots of snow to the Alps on Wednesday and Thursday and this will form the base for most ski areas for the rest of the season above 2000-2200 meter. The ultra-long term forecast shows us more snowfall, so the start of winter 16/17 is pretty good!
There will be some room for the sun and there are some freshies to be found on Monday and Tuesday. But many resorts are still closed. The resorts that have their lifts running are mostly resorts with a glacier and because of the crevasses it's not recommended at all to ski off-piste over there. The only three resorts without a glacier that are open are the Diavolezza, Solda am Ortler and Kitzbühel. The snow cover is still pretty thin over there and you can find lots of sharks below the surface waiting to eat some P-Tex. But hey, the snow on the glaciers will be pretty good tomorrow, even if you stay on the slopes. Or go out on a tour on an alpine meadow near a mountain pass. Some tips per region/country:
Andermatt will (partly) open in the weekend of November the 12th. The snow cover is still too thin, but you can expect lots of snow next week. The big question is if that warm front that is visible on the maps for Friday the 11th and Saturday the 12th will do. More details about that the next couple of days. Enjoy Monday and Tuesday!
Stay stoked! Morris