Update: more fresh snow and more snow in France!


By meteomorris on 20 October 2017 · 0

The countdown to the first good dump of October has begun. Cold air from the northwest will head for the Alps this weekend. This will provide a nice pack of snow that will come down in the French Northern Alps, Switzerland and Austria between Saturday night and Tuesday afternoon. I already anticipated in yesterday's forecast on some last minute shifts of the dump and that's the reason I'm writing this extra update. This is my text from yesterday:

The big question is where the center of gravity of the precipitation will end up. The models now expect that the Hohe Tauern in Austria will hit the jackpot, but this could change into the northern Swiss alpine ridge tomorrow. This has to do with the speed with which a new high-pressure area is pushing from the west. If this is slower than expected, Switzerland will get the most fresh snow. And if it's faster... well, Austria will get some.

The map below confirms the slow moving high pressure area. The isobar lines therefore remain focused on Switzerland and they'll get more snow compared to what has been calculated yesterday. Let me start with an important remark. As I wrote yesterday, we are running a new and more detailed weather model. One of the most complex items we are dealing with is the snowfall in the valley. There's too much snow forecasted in the valleys with the dump of this weekend. We are now fixing that problem and it won't be a problem anymore before winter begins.

The snowfall for the next couple of days:

  • The first snow will come down from Saturday to Sunday with a dropping snow line
  • The most precipitation will come down in the main alpine ridge in Austria, but mostly at higher elevations (the air at high altitude is still relatively warm)
  • A cold front will come in on Sunday
  • The high pressure area will come in more slowly than calculated earlier
  • This will result in snow deep into the valleys of the French northern Alps and Switzerland on Sunday
  • The snow line will drop to 1200 to 1600 meters
  • Lots of snowfall in the French northern Alps, Switzerland and the Austrian region of Vorarlberg in the night to Monday
  • The front will move to the east on Monday
  • The sun will come out from the west on Tuesday and it will still be snowing lightly in Austria
  • You can expect 20-45 cm of fresh snow above 2000 meters, this could be 50 cm or locally even more in the high alpine

TIP: Check our new forecast page for more details

Fresh snow for the glaciers

The sun will come out after Monday and the glaciers in Austria and Switzerland will have great conditions. Hopefully the glaciers in France will also get some snow. The glacier of Les 2 Alpes is closed at the moment due to the lack of snow... The conditions are a bit better in Engelberg; check out this report from Matthias Hargin and Oskar Enander. But remember, summer was warm and the crevasses are deep, so stay on the slopes if you want to ride some fresh snow.

And pssst, the wePowder shop is back online!


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