Up to 120 cm of fresh snow came down on the south side of the main alpine ridge at 2000 meters altitude the last 72 hours. And about a week ago around 120 cm came down on the border of Switzerland and France at 2000 meters. Right now, the northwestern Alps can get ready for a big dump the next 48 hours. The snowpack above 1500-1800 meters is on his way to 'normal' levels for the time of the year, peak season in the Alps is pretty much over, so we can get ready for a good couple of weeks. You can only enjoy some good snow for a couple of days this week. Very mild air is reaching the Alps on Wednesday and the combination of moisture (because of the clouds) and the high temperatures will have its effect on the snow cover. In this forecast:
Peak season is over and winter is beginning to catch up. A lot of snow came down in parts of Switzerland, France and Italy last week and the snow cover above 1500-1800 is pretty close to what's normal for the time of the year. Especially with the snow that's still in the forecast for the next 48 hours. And that offers perspective for a good end of the season, let's just hope that spring won't come in soon.
Check out this article with more great pictures!
It's winter in the western Alps and the north of Switzerland today and tomorrow. It's chilly, the wind is pretty strong from time to time, it's snowing heavily and the avalanche danger is rising. The storm that's responsible is heading towards the Alps via France and will bring weather that you would expect during winter the next 48 hours. This will bring fresh snow to the western Alps, but the northern Alps in Austria will get their share as well on Tuesday. Check our snow maps for all the details.
You can expect up to 100 cm of fresh snow, but the snowfall will be accompanied by a lot of wind. So you better avoid the highest peaks and ride some powder in the trees. The visibility won't be that good and sometimes you'll experience a white out that will make Scott and Amundsen jealous. The sun will come out in the French southern Alps and south of the main alpine ridge.
The sun will come out in the northern and western Alps on Wednesday morning according to the last calculations, but high clouds are already coming in from the west. And because the air is getting warmer you can expect the snowpack to be heavily influenced. The sunshine and blue skies might tempt you to ride open faces, but you should ride with care. Check out your local avalanche forecast!
I'd ride between the trees on Tuesday and ride some (not too steep) faces above the treeline on Wednesday morning. You'll find great conditions in pretty much every resort in the western Alps. It will be good in the French Alps (except the far south), the northwest and west of Switzerland, Vorarlberg, Aosta, the western and northern Piedmont and Ticino. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions! Don't wait too long, because mild air is on its way.
A warm front will reach the Alps on Wednesday by noon. This means that high clouds will arrive in the Alps during the morning. This is initially limited to the west of the Alps, but the high clouds will reach the north of the Alps later. The combination of high (and low clouds later) clouds and mild air will cause the snowpack to get warmer.
The sun will dominate the south side of the Alps and that will be the case in the western Alps as well later. The clouds will be pretty persistent on the north side of the Alps. It is relatively mild, the freezing level will rise and you can expect some precipitation (a bit of rain in the valleys or a flake or two higher up). It's definitely not the perfect week.
Winter will come back after the weekend according to the latest calculations, but let's enjoy Tuesday and Wednesday morning first.