PA #8 is coming up! Powder in the western Alps!


By meteomorris on 6 February 2017 · 0

Between 20-70 cm, locally even up to 90 cm of fresh snow came down since Thursday night. The most snow came down in the French southern Alps, the resorts in the south of Switzerland and the resorts at the border of France and the Italian Piedmont the last couple of days. But the storm moved to the French northern Alps and western Switzerland last night. It snowed heavily especially in the west of the northern alpine ridge, western Wallis and the Haute Savoie. The conditions improved a lot the last 96 hours and it's time to ride in the trees. The Finns would call this a perfect time for some 'Vapaalasku". Especially because the snow is still pretty good thanks to PowderAlert #7 and PowderAlert #8 is coming up. In this forecast:

  • Lots of powder in the western Alps
  • Some light snowfall on Monday
  • More snow from the northwest on Tuesday
  • Where to go?
  • Discount on Mountain Academy
  • PA #8: a 'retour d'est' on Wednesday
  • Long term: uncertain

Lots of powder in the western Alps

A lot of fresh snow came down in the western Alps since Saturday. It also started to snow in the French northern Alps and the west of Switzerland, so the conditions are great right now. Check out how good it is right now over here. Anyway, the storms exactly did what we forecasted, so if you were riding in one of the resorts we recommended you certainly found some great snow the last couple of days. The heavy wind was quite exciting, but is really part of an intense storm cycle like this one.

La Thuile
La Thuile

Some light snowfall on Monday

It's still snowing lightly in the French northern Alps, the north of Switzerland and Austria and in the eastern Dolomites on Monday. You can expect another 5-15 centimeters. That's nice, but it's only a dusting compared to the amounts of snow that came down in the western Alps the last couple of days.

More snow from the northwest on Tuesday

A new front is coming in from the northwest on Tuesday. This front will bring some fresh snow to the French northern Alps and the west of Switzerland. You can expect another 5-15 cm of fresh snow above 1000 meters. It will mark the end of PowderAlert #7.

Where to go?

From Monday there's a PowderAlert for:

Don't forget to have fun!! You can book your accommodation here.

You can ride powder in all of the regions mentioned above from today. Avoid the highest peaks and look for resorts where you can ride in the trees.

The combination of new snow, rising temperatures and the problems in the current snow cover resulted in a rising avalanche danger. Keep asking yourself the next questions:

  • Do you have the right knowledge?
  • Do you (and the other riders in your group) have the gear (avalanche beacon, shovel and probe)?
  • Have you read the local avalanche forecast?
  • Do you know which parts of the mountain you have to avoid that particular day to minimize the risk?

Discount on Mountain Academy

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The 'retour d'est'
The 'retour d'est'

PA #8: a 'retour d'est' on Wednesday

The front that passes the Alps from the northwest on Tuesday will reactivate itself on Wednesday and will turn into a Genoa depression, also known as a 'retour d'est'. This depression coming from the Gulf of Genoa will hit the Piedmont with lots of moist air and could stick around until Friday. You can expect at least 10-30 cm of fresh snow, but locally even 50 cm of fresh snow, that's falling on top of the 20-50 cm that this regions got during PowderAlert #7. So you'd better stay for some more days in the Piedmont to ride some powder and drink some espresso.

Long term: uncertain

It's still uncertain what will happen at the end of this week. The American model is showing more snowfall in the Piedmont, but the European model sees high pressure dominating the Alps, with no precipitation and higher temperatures in the upper atmosphere. But to be honest I don't really care about the long term right now. This is the time to do some tree runs in the Alps!

Stay stoked. Morris


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