PowderAlert #2 coming up this weekend?


By meteomorris on 14 November 2016 · 0

PowderAlert #1 was an awesome alert! Lots of freshies, the sun came out in the western Alps on Saturday and in the eastern Alps on Sunday. If you were up there this weekend you must have scored some powder. But it also was pretty crowded. After a lousy start of last winter everybody's fired up to ride some freshies. Let's hope this winter will bring us lots of snow, cold temperatures and snow deep into the valleys. The conditions right now are better than December 2015, but will it still be in a week or so? In this forecast:

  • 20-60 cm snow cover at 2000 meters altitude
  • Great weather to go out for a tour
  • The weather will change in the middle of this week
  • New storm coming in on Friday: rain or snow?
  • Will it remain turbulent?

20-60 cm snow cover at 2000 meters altitude

The measuring stations are showing a snow cover of 20-60 cm at 2000 meters everywhere in the Alps. Most snow can be found right now in the French Northern Alps although they experienced some heavy winds above 2800 meters. The conditions were awesome between 1700 and 2800 meters last weekend.

The footage we received made some people who stayed at home jealous and check out all the reports from the PowderQuest app!

La Rosière
La Rosière

Megève
Megève

Hasliberg
Hasliberg

Montafon
Montafon

Great weather to go out for a tour

Monday and Tuesday are great days to go out on a tour. The air is relatively dry and the sun is shining in the high alpine. You can still find untracked powder on north-facing slopes above 2,000 meters. That is a bit different in the resorts where the lifts are running. Everything is pretty much tracked. The advantage is that the base layer has settled and high temperatures and rain will have some more trouble to influence this layer.

The weather will change in the middle of this week

A front will reach the north side of the Alps on Wednesday. The jetstream will be north of the Alps, and as a result the Alps will have to deal with warm air and the precipitation will come down as snow only above 1800-2200 meters. So it won't be perfect. Save you Euro's or Swiss Francs for better times.

Jetstream (red spot) north of the Alps
Jetstream (red spot) north of the Alps

The Alps will have to deal with warm (orange) air
The Alps will have to deal with warm (orange) air

The weather in the French southern Alps and other regions in the southern Alps will be a bit bitter. It is mostly dry and sunny.

New storm coming in on Friday: rain or snow?

A new storm with a core over the British Isles is sending precipitation from the southwest to the Alps on Friday. We have to wait and see where the dividing line between cold and warm air will end up, but I'm sure that the high alpine will get some freshies.

Thanks to the strong current from the southwest the French southern Alps and the north of Italy will get the first snow. The snow line will drop to 1000-1400 meters. The warm Föhn wind is still around at the north side of the main alpine ridge. The cold front will arrive in the Alps from the west later in the weekend and it will start snowing on the north side of the Alps as well. The Alps will get stuck in a snow sandwhich. The snow line will drop rapidly. But it's possible that warm air will arrive right after the weekend, so there still are some uncertainties.

There are still a lot of uncertainties for this weekend:

  • How intense will the precipitation be on the south side of the Alps and how far will the snow line drop?
  • How fast will the cold air from the west flow into the Alps?
  • What happens after the cold front has passed? Will the temperature go up?

All these questions will determine where you can ride powder in the weekend of 19-20 November. The best options right now are the Diavolezza in Switzerland, Solda am Ortler and Val Senales in Italy. But more details will follow later this week.

Will it remain turbulent?

The latest calculations opt for a low pressure area around Portugal for the beginning of next week. This would mean that the Alps have to deal with a strong current from the southwest that will bring warm from northern Africa. Let's hope the weather maps will show something different the next couple of days. Lots of resorts are opening on November 26th and it would be great if Mother Nature will bring them some white magic stuff.

Stay stoked. Morris


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