Sunshine in large parts of the Alps, some fresh snow in the east


By meteomorris on 30 November 2016 · 0

The sun will dominate the Alps this week. Only expect some significant snowfall in the northern Stau areas of Styria and the south of Ober- and Niederösterreich by the end of the week. Up to a meter of fresh snow is possible at the border between Poland and Slovakia! In this forecast:

  • Sunshine in large parts of the Alps
  • Strong current from the north in eastern Europe
  • Tips for the weekend
  • Next snowfall for the Alps mid-December?

Sunshine in large parts of the Alps

A very strong high-pressure area called Uwe is positioning itself above the Alps and keeps the storms at distance. The core of this high pressure system stretches itself from the British Isles all the way to France, so we don't have to expect snowfall in large parts of the Alps. The jet stream is thus forced to choose a route that is far away from the Alps. Such stable high pressure systems can block the weather for days or sometimes even weeks.

This high pressure area could bring us some serious problems. You don't have to expect new snow and the clear nights will bring surface hoar on north faces and other parts of the mountain that lie in the shadow. It could even result in a complete layer of sugar snow that will be a problem with the next dump.

Pressure distribution in Europe
Pressure distribution in Europe

Strong current from the north in eastern Europe

A current from the north is getting stronger in between the high pressure area in the west and the storm depression in eastern Europe (check out the blue arrow on the map above). This current will bring cold and humid air to the norhern Stau regions of Styria, but especially to the mountain regions of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and southern Poland.

Our maps forecast 5 to 15 cm of fresh snow for the northern Stau regions in the east. I'm a bit more positive myself and I expect 20 cm, maybe even 25 cm. The slopes in resorts like Hinterstoder and Hochkar are in good condition and the fresh snow will certain bring some fun, but the snow pack in the backcountry is too thin in most places.

TIP: check out our detailled snow maps of the Alps

The conditions in many parts of the Carpathians will be much better. Especially the ski resorts in Slovakia and southern Poland will get 30-60 cm, locally even 70 cm of fresh snow. But the base is still very thin over here as well (especially in the high alpine). They had to deal with a strong Föhn wind last week. You can definitely ride some powder, but take care.

Expected snowfall
Expected snowfall

Tips for the weekend

You can ride some fresh snow this weekend in the northern Stau resorts of Styria and Upper and Lower Austria and the resorts in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and southern Poland, but remember that the base is still thin. You can ride some powder on the slopes, but expect to meet some sharks in the off-piste.

After the huge snowfall last week above 2000 meters, you'll be better off in those areas in the western Alps where it has been dumping and the lifts were still closed. Some resorts will open this weekend (at least some lifts will open) and first tracks are guaranteed. Keep in mind that this is some kind of a pre-opening and not all the lifts are running. Tips are:

  • Serre Chevalier (only the central part, Le Monêtier (Cucumelle) is closed)
  • Vars
  • Sestrière
  • Valfréjus
  • Champorcher
  • San Domenico

More lifts will open this weekend in the Monte Rosa area as well. I do not exactly which lifts will open, but if you happen to know this, please share it in the comments. Maybe more resorts will open as well, let me know!

Next snowfall for the Alps mid-December?

The Alps will be dominated by this high pressure area this week and maybe even the next two weeks. According to the latest calculations the weather will change only in the second week of December (which is more positive already by the way). Keep doing the snow dance!

Stay stoked. Morris


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