It's been snowing locally in the northern Alps for a couple of hours and the snowfall will expand this morning. A weak cold front crosses the Alps today and will bring 5-20 cm, locally 30 cm of fresh snow. You can expect the most snow in Vorarlberg, but also around Engelberg and around the Dachstein. There won't be that much snow coming down in the French northern Alps and there won't be any precipitation in the rest of the Alps. The snow line is around 1500 meters in the French northern Alps and the west of Switzerland right now, but is at 1000 meters in Austria. The snow line will drop to 1000 meters in the west as well later today and it will drop deep into the valleys in the east. It's still snowing lightly in the east on Saturday morning, but the sun will be shining by then in the rest of the Alps. You can expect bluebird conditions till the middle of next week. Clouds will try to reach the Alps later this week. You could expect some precipitation, but it's not much. A real storm might kick in at the end of next week. In this forecast:
It's been snowing in parts of the northern Alps since Friday. This precipitation will extend the next few hours and I expect 5-20 cm of fresh snow until Saturday morning. The most snow will come down west of the Arlberg. You can expect 15-30 cm of fresh snow over here, so you can definitely ride some powder there on Saturday and Sunday.
There will be some light snowfall in the east of the Alps on Saturday morning. High pressure will control the weather again after Saturday.
A strong high pressure system will push Friday's cold front to the east and that means some room for the sun to return. The temperatures will be quite low on Saturday morning, but will start rising from the west during the day. Sunday and Monday will be mild and sunny, although the north side of the Alps could see some clouds from Monday.
Storms will try to make their way to the Alps later in the week, but the big question is if they'll manage to do that.
Alright, so you're in the Alps next week (maybe with your family). Where can you still find some fresh powder? You can definitely can still ride some powder with the right knowledge. Think of shady forests where the sun hardly ever comes. The moisture can radiate here especially during clear nights. Please note: the snow cover in the trees is not thick enough all over the Alps. You'll find the best conditions in the Italian Piedmont, northeastern Italy, the southernmost areas of Switzerland and the forests of the southern French Alps right now.
The conditions are fine to go for a tour below 2000 meters. Above that altitude you have to think about that weak old layer deeper in the snowpack. The wind also transported lots of snow the last couple of days. Ride conservative lines (not steeper than 35 degrees and preferably less steep). Make sure there aren't any steep faces above you and keep in mind that the snow cover might get more unstable during the day due to the sun.
If you don't have you no knowledge about snow, avalanches, the steepness of slopes, etc... just stay on the slopes. This is an explicit call to anyone who doesn't have the right knowledge and experience to stay on the slopes. If you doubt whether you know anything about it, start with Chapter 1 of Mountain Academy. The first chapter ends with a test.
There will be a real battle of the models scheduled for the middle and end of next week. The jetstream will turn to the west (and will probably end up too far north) and mild air will reach the Alps. But that might change in the middle of next week. It's still a question what will happen though.
Right now, there are constantly shifting scenarios on the weather maps that could be summarized like this:
Great scenarios, but the chance that it will actually happen is not higher than 50%. There's much more possible. More about that on Sunday!
Are you going to the Alps next week? Please, keep asking yourself the following questions:
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