Winter has finally started in Austria and eastern Switzerland around the 3rd of January. But there are still plenty of other regions in the Alps where they need some fresh snow. There's almost no snow in the Dolomites and Carinthia, the French northern Alps are dying for snow and the snowpack in lots of regions in Switzerland is thinner than normal.
On the other hand, you could ride some great powder in the east of the Alps. Again. The conditions in resorts like Tauplitz and Loser simply are really good at the moment (though everything is tracked right now).
Anyway, winter will have to give us some more snow before we can call it a good winter. In this forecast:
Winter will really kick in next week. You can expect three storms to hit the northwest of the Alps. The storms with have different centers of gravity. One will hit Switzerland, the other the French northern Alps and the Austrian region of Vorarlberg will get snow anyway. The snow line will go up and down. It will snow deep into the valleys, but the next moment the snow line might rise to 1200-1400 meters in the west of the Alps. It will rise even further on Thursday.
The three storms will bring snow and this can add up to 100 cm at 2000 meters. The wind won't be that strong and with a little bit of luck we can ride powder in the French northern Alps and the northwest of Switzerland during the weekend. But you have to be careful.
The last significant dump in this part of the Alps dates from late November. There's no base in most resorts below 2000-2500 meters. And in the few resorts that have something you could call a base, well, in those resorts it will serve as the ultimate sliding layer for avalanches. I'd go for resorts with alpine meadows without rocks or other hazards.
**TIP: check the avalanche forecast on the resort pages on wePowder
If you want to have more information on where to go, you can also start with Mountain Academy. This gives you access to knowledge to make better decisions on where to go, ride better powder and become more aware of alpine risks.
You can still ride powder in the northern Alps east on Tuesday and Wednesday. Check out the forecast from yesterday for more details. Don't base your decision of riding powder in the northwest of the Alps only on the centimeters of fresh snow that are forecasted. The most snow will come fown on Friday and Saturday. The conditions in some resorts (read my advice above again) will be good on Sunday.
It's a different story for the Arlberg. You can already find a good base over there and with the snow that's forecasted you can ride powder again this weekend. More details later this week.
Let's have a look at next week. It's still pretty far away, but I wanted to show you the calculations of the ECMWF (the European weather model). According to that model we can expect a low pressure area above the Mediterranean sea with a strong current from the east as a result. And this will result in snowfall in the Po-valley and low temperatures for Europe. The American model however is forecasting high pressure, sun and high temperatures. I know which option I'd choose. And you?
Stay stoked. Morris