Up to 1 meter of fresh snow in the Piedmont! When can we expect snow in the northern Alps?


By meteomorris on 21 December 2016 · 6

Over one meter of snow already came down in the Piedmont the past 60 hours. But what about the other regions in the Alps? Austria and Switzerland are dying for snow. So the question is: when can we expect a northern Stau? Let's start the forecast with a message filled with hope. Because the American model came up with the weather map below. Anyway, I'll start with the Piedmont, but scroll down to the bottom to read more about the northern Alps.

26 mm in the Kleinwalsertal
26 mm in the Kleinwalsertal

In this forecast:

  • Lots of powder in the Piedmont and the southeast of France
  • HIGH avalanche danger locally
  • PowderAdvice for the next couple of days
  • When can we expect snow in the northern Alps?

Lots of powder in the Piedmont and the southeast of France

Between 50-120 cm of fresh snow came down in the Italian Piedmont, east of the Aosta and the resorts in the southern French Alps and the Haute Maurienne close to the border. The most (and best) snow fell in the Piedmont where the wind was not as strong as in the French resorts.

Sestrière
Sestrière

Sestrière
Sestrière

Pragelato
Pragelato

Limone Piemonte
Limone Piemonte

Prali
Prali

Isola 2000
Isola 2000

Champorcher
Champorcher

HIGH avalanche danger locally

Because of the snowfall, the temperature, the wind, the old layer of surface hoar, old layers in the snowpack or the hard top layer, the new snow bonds pourly with snowpack. The avalanche danger has increased from LOW to CONSIDERABLE or even HIGH in the last 60 hours. Check out this article again and adapt your plans to it.

PowderAdvice for the next couple of days

I already published a list with resorts yesterday, but I've added some suggestions. Check it out:

  • Via Lattea, Sestrière/Pragelato: The eastern parts of Sestrière normally has less wind
  • Via Lattea, Sauze d'Oulx: you can find some trees up to 2300 meters on north faces. You'll find a base above 1900 meters and maybe you could ride between the trees.
  • Prali: no base below 1800 meters, use the groomed slope to get back to the valley (40 cm in the village right now).
  • Bardonecchia, Jafferau/Bardonecchia 2000: Great conditions above 2000 meters, but lots of wind. It's never really steep.
  • Bardonecchia, Melezet: You'll probably find great snow above Chesal.
  • Monte Rosa, Alagna/Gressoney: great base above 2000 meter.
  • Limone Piemonte: Pay attention: no base before this dump
  • Prato Nevoso: Pay attention: no base before this dump
  • Montgenèvre: good base above 1800 meters, but they had lots of wind
  • Valfréjus: good base above 2000 meters, but they had lots of wind
  • Isola 2000: good base above 2000 meters, but they had lots of wind
  • Bonneval sur Arc: good base above 2000 meters, but they had lots of wind
  • Val Cenis: good base above 2000 meters, but they had lots of wind
  • Abriès: good base above 1800 meters, but they had lots of wind

The resort below opens on Friday the 23rd of December:

  • Champorcher: great base and lots of fresh snow.

You have to pay attention to the warm air coming in today. Fortunately, the skies in the night to Thursday will be clear and this allows the snowcover to radiate its moisture. You can ride great powder on shadow faces above 2000 meters on Thursday and Friday.

When can we expect snow in the northern Alps?

Check out the map below again. It's the output of the American model and that offers hope. Especially the northern Alps in Austria have good chances of snowfall according to this output.

Northern Stau on the maps
Northern Stau on the maps

A small change in the weather maps is responsible for this positive output. The high pressure area above the Alps (which is there for a couple of weeks) moved a bit to the west compared to yesterday. It creates room for a current from the north and this should bring snow to the north side of the main alpine ridge around Christmas. It's definitely not sure yet, but if offers hope and perspective. And hope is something we all can use these days.

Stay stoked. Morris

Comments


  • sebseb
    sebseb op 21 December 2016 · 14:04
    Thanks for the update @meteomorris ! Now that the dump has fallen in the Piedmont, can you confirm which resort is best for skiers arriving next monday ? Thx again !
  • Hummingbird
    Tourist
    Hummingbird op 21 December 2016 · 14:13
    Thank you again for the great updates.

    I have a question about the "Northern Stau", IF that becomes a reality, do you get snow only on the north side of the main alpine ridge, or can it also continue to other parts of the alps?

    Cheers
  • jamesjung
    jamesjung op 21 December 2016 · 16:55
    Praying this could mean snow for the Arlberg? I'm only seeing flurries in the forecast -- could the system swell?

    Thanks for all the work you do, Morris!
  • meteomorris
    Tourist
    meteomorris op 22 December 2016 · 09:44
    @sebseb how long are you planning to stay/travel within the Alps?
    @Hummingbird, no it will only stay on the north side of main alpine ridge
    @jamesjung, christmas will bring some flurries. Maybe a bit more on 26/27th of december. But not enough to go off piste. But the models are in favor of a major system that might enter the Northern Alps as of beginning of January. Are you at Ahlberg for the season or have you planned a (short) stay over there?
    May the powder be with you.
  • sebseb
    sebseb op 22 December 2016 · 10:54
    @meteomorris we will start skiing on monday for one week 😃
  • sebseb
    sebseb op 23 December 2016 · 20:12
    @meteomorris what do you think ?

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