It's been snowing heavily north of the main alpine ridge since Saturday. It's the second dump in just a week . The sun returns today (Tuesday) and that means it will be a bluebird day with fresh snow. A classic powder day, but it's only mid-November. A PowderAlert is issued for Tuesday and Wednesday, but it comes with some restrictions. The snow cover is still relatively thin and the vast majority of the areas are still closed. In addition, it will be temporarily warm again the next couple of days. But nevertheless, nature wants to make something clear: winter is coming. And maybe we can welcome the third storm in a row this weekend. In this forecast:
What a great day in the Alps. The sky is blue, it's cold and there's a lot of fresh snow. It feels like winter, but it's only mid-November and this already was the second good storm cycle. The most snow came down between Saturday morning and Monday night. Between 20-60 cm fresh snow has fallen above 2200 meters and locally even 100 cm. That results in a nice powder day today. Check out the image below of the Stubaier Glacier this morning.
The temperatures will rise the next couple of days. The jet stream that transports cold air to the south is temporarily blocked, allowing the upper air layers to warm up. But because the sky is relatively dry and the nights are bright it won't do any damage to the snow cover. You can ride good powder until Friday.
Check out how the jet stream turn from the north to the west. You can see the red river on the images on the left turn to the south (black arrow) and this pushes the cold air (the green bubble) to the south. The jet stream turned to the west (images on the right) and cold air no longer reaches the Alps.
We will see that the jetstream will temporarily positions itself above the Alps more often the next couple of weeks (and months), and thus bringing warmer air to the Alps. It is the usual battle between cold air from the north and warm air from the south. The days are getting shorter the next couple of weeks and northern Canada, Russia, Alaska and Scandinavia can get ready for neverending nights. The lack of sun results in a drop in temperature and this cold air will make an attempt to go south. Jaap and Tim, two of my powder friends, are currently in the Lyngen Alps in Norway and they take advantage of the last sunlight before the long winter nights are coming.
The third storm cycle in a row might be coming up. It's the third weekend of November and the third storm is on the maps. We have to get used to all that fresh snow after the last three winters. Check out the forecast for Saturday below. It's a classic situation with a low-pressure area above Scandinavia and high pressure above the ocean which is starting up a current from the north (the blue arrow). The result: a northern Stau. It's almost unbelievable. We've practically haven't seen any classic northern Staus the last three winters, but I guess nature has been saving them for this season.
More ski areas will open their lifts this weekend. There's still some powder waiting for you that hasn't been tracked yet. Resorts like Val Thorens, Engelberg (Titlis), Silvretta Montafon and Andermatt will open some of their lifts this weekend for the first time. A nice perspective, but the storm of that's forecasted for this weekend could bring in some harsh conditions.
The question mark is there for a reason. A gap can arise between a high pressure area above the British Isles and a high-pressure area above Russia and this new storm just might squeeze itself through. This could result in snowfall on Saturday. I'll keep an eye on the exact position of the high-pressure area west of the Alps the next couple of days. If it will move further to the east, only Austria will benefit (and the weather will be good in resorts like Val Thorens or Engelberg) but if the high-pressure area will stick around above the Atlantic Ocean, Switzerland and the northern French Alps will also benefit.
Tip: If you want to look into the future, become a wePowder Pro member. You'll get access to the 14-day forecast and more detailed weather and terrain options. And it works for your karma as well, because you support the development of the wePowder platform.
All the major weather models calculated increasing chances for precipitation the past 24 hours. However, the differ a bit as well. One model callculates more snow for Austria, the other model more for Switzerland. Our model sticks with snow for the entire northern Alps this morning. Check out a map below with the calculated snowfall between Saturday and Tuesday.
This map is for the next 6-10 days and you can definitely expect some changes. I hope to give you a good forecast for this weekend on Thursday. There are chances for snow this weekend (and the days after the weekend), but which region will hit the jackpot and how much snow will come down is still uncertain.
Want access to the most comprehensive online backcountry snow safety courses for skiers and snowboarders? Use code "WEARESKIING1718", valid until the beginning of March, to get access for only 9€ (Reg: 29€). Go to Mountain Academy and start now!
Stay stoked Morris