A white Christmas on the north side of the Alps? Nothing seems impossible this winter. There's something that looks like a storm coming in from the north on the maps for a couple of days now and it's also visible on the snow maps todat. That means that the reliability of the forecast has increased. There's just one minor problem and that's the fact that high pressure is around the corner and with just one small move to the east the snow could disappear from the maps. But I don't expect that to happen. Most of the snow is expected for the east of the Alps (Austria) because of the active high pressure area in the west.
Today will be a great (but also dangerous) day in the southwest of the Alps. It's the first day with sunshine after the dump and some people don't act that clever on days like that. If want to ride powder today: be alert! The season is just getting started and those lines in the high alpine will also be there later this season.
In this forecast:
You'll probably know by now that a lot of snow came down in the Piedmont and the resorts on the border with France and Italy and Switzerland and Italy. Anyway, in cased you've missed it, check out the forecast from yesterday. It includes some great images of the current conditions.
Some advice on where to ride powder the next couple of days:
The resort below opens on Friday the 23rd of December:
Today is the first bluebird day after the dump. The sky was clear last night and that allowed the snowpack to radiate some of its moisture. There will be plenty of powder panic today. Don't let powder panic take over and don't ride faces that you shouldn't according to the avalanche forecast!
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. Check out this article again and adapt your plans to it.
The most important news for those who are not in the Piedmont at the moment and who love to ride powder in the northern Alps: there's a northern Stau coming. Both WRF, GFS and ECMWF agree that the storm from the north is finally on its way.
A current from the northwest is getting fired up between a low pressure over Scandinavia and an high pressure area over the British Isles. This current will focus on the north of Austria and will bring 10 to 30 cm of snow. If the high pressure area will move just a little bit to the west the chances for snowfall in Switzerland will increase as well.
There's currently no snow on the maps for the French northern Alps, but if the high pressure area moves further to the west.... well, who know. Nothing is impossible! Anyway, the chances of a white Christmas in northern Austria have increased. But the snow won't fall with a big bang. The first snow will fall between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The temperature will rise after that small dump and the snow will melt in the valleys again. A new and more intense cold front will hit the Alps by the end of Monday. The sun will come out after Tuesday and you can expect a nice layer of snow on top of the artificial slopes. It won't be enough to ride powder off-piste, because there's simply no base. We'll have to wait for the next big dump.
If the maps are right things will change in the beginning of January and the Alps will get hit by a powerful storm from the north. You'll probably understand that there's a lot of speculation involved and things can still change, but we all can use a little bit of hope these days.
More details about this storm tomorrow!
Stay stoked. Morris