It's still very mild in the Alps today, but winter will make a comeback tomorrow. A big storm sends two fronts towards the Alps. The first one will bring fresh snow to the northern Alps. This could lead to interesting situations on the roads, since a lot of tourists are leaving and a new batch is arriving in the Alps this weekend. There's more snow in the forecast next week, when a new storm will head towards the Alps. In this forecast:
You can see storm Thomas hanging out above the Northsea on the map above. This storm is going to determine the weather in the Alps in the next 72 hours. It's still pretty warm today, but it will start snowing tomorrow and winter wil be back!
Thomas sends two fronts towards the Alps. The first front is the long blue line in the north of France. This front will bring fresh snow to the Alps in the evening and night. Just north of the storm core is an even shorter blue line (over Scotland). This front will bring more snow to the Alps. I expect the most snow to come down between the French Haute Savoie in the west and Vorarlberg in the east. Between 15-30 cm, locally even 50 cm of fresh snow will fall between Thursday evening and Saturday morning. The other regions in the northern Alps can expect 5-20 cm of snow.
The snowline will initially be around 1800 meters, but will drop rapidly towards 500 - 800 meters and locally even lower.
Lots of fresh snow and (temporarily) low temperatures will make sure that Friday and Saturday will be powder days. Especially Saturday can be a good day (if you're around). Lots of tourists will drive back home, and a new batch is arriving. It will be busy on the roads on Saturday. If you want to ride powder, you'd better arrive on Friday (or even Thursday) and you drive home again on Sunday when the temperature is rising again. My PowderAdvice would be the resorts in the Swiss northern alpine ridge (Engelberg, Sörenberg, Gstaad en Stoos), the resorts west of the Arlberg in Austria (Lech, Zürs etc, even though the snowpack is pretty wet right now) and in a lesser degree the most northern resorts of the French northern Alps (Portes du Soleil, Flaine).
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Warm air will hit the Alps again after storm Thomas has passed. Saturday, Sunday and Monday will be bluebird days. Saturday will still be pretty cold, but Sunday and Monday will be mild.
There is a monster storm with a core pressure of 975 hPa waiting for the European coast. Initially, the current will come from the southwest, bringing a Föhn from the south to the northern Alps and increasing the chances of snowfall in the southern Alps. But the storm will try to get its grip on the entire Alps the days after that, but I'm not sure if he'll succeed. The models are gong back and forth, so let's hope for the best! The challenge is the exact position of the storm. There are two possible scenarios:
So what does it mean? There's snow on the maps for the northwest of the Alps, but we'll have to wait and see what will happen in the rest of the Alps. I hope to tell you more about the two scenarios tomorrow!
Stay stoked. Morris