The forecast was spot on! A lot of snow came down both on the northern side of the main alpine ridge and in the Piedmont. In addition, it is snowing in the east of Austria at the time of writing. And that means an extended PowderAlert for Austria. The temperatures will temporarily rise on Wednesday, but a new storm will be coming in on Friday. That means it's time for PowderAlert #5! It's the 6th weekend in a row that the Alps get a lot of snow and already the 7th storm of the season! In this forecast:
A not that that strong, but long-lasting Stau from the north(west) at the beginning of last week we had to wait for the sun to come out. The sun was shining on the north side of the main alpine ridge and on the border of Slovenia, Italy and Austria on Friday. It was cold, but thanks to the sun it was quite okay higher up the mountain. Check out the footage below from Sankt Anton am Arlberg last weekend. Yes, you should have been there yesterday.
The second 'retour d'est' of the season brought a lot of snow to the Piedmont and the nearby resorts in the French Alps last Friday and Saturday. The first retour d'est (in the beginning of November) was already generous, but this second one definitely matched the amount of snow. Between 50-120 cm of fresh snow with locally even 150 centimeter of snow came down!.PowderAlert #4 was a fact. Almost 80 centimeters of fresh snow came down in Prali at an altitude of 1500 meters, which is now slowly settling due to its weight.
Even more snow came down in the southern Piedmont. On the peaks of Limone Piemonte, an unbelievable 170 centimeters of fresh snow fell in less than 48 hours. It shows the immense power of a retour d'est.
It was great riding in the French Alps this weekend. There were still some doubt on Saturday morning, but it turned out to be great in the Queyras. The quality of the snow was amazing. It was the kind of snow you'd normally expect in Canada or Japan. The first wind kicked in in the nigh to Sunday (the first slab avalanches have been reported) and the snow settled. The snow became a bit more compact above the tree line, but the riding is still great between the trees.
A northern current is pushing snow in the direction of the Salzburgerland and Styria on the eastern flank of a high pressure area. It is snowing today (Monday) in the east of Switzerland and the west of Austria, but because of the incoming high pressure area it is getting drier (and milder) from the west.
The map above shows the snow forecast for Monday and Tuesday. You can expect it to be a powder day especially in the east of Austria on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and even Thursday. The weekend is over and with another 20-50 cm of fresh snow the riding will be great.
The map above does not show is the warm air that's coming in with the high pressure. It's clearly visible on our detailed forecast maps. If you click on the maps that show the temperature on 850 hPa, you will see a milder airflow. The mild air is coming in from the southwest. It is dry and there will be no major consequences for the snow cover. Especially on north faces and in shady forests, the snow just remains loose and dry. The cold air will stick around in the east of the Alps the longest cold and the temperature will only rise a bit over there on Thursday.
With the exception of the south facing slopes, the higher temperatures will have little effect. The sun will shing from Tuesday and especially Wednesday and Thursday will be really sunny.
We have to deal with the 7th storm for the Alps since the beginning of November from Friday. A weak warm front will hit the southern Alps first, but according to the latest calculations this does not lead to significant quantities (except for the border region Slovenia, Austria and Italy where you can expect a lot of snow). The cold front will come in on Friday and you can expect it to snow from the west to the northwest. This results in a lot of snow for the French northern Alps, the west and north of Switzerland and the west of Austria. It is too early for details and specific hotspots, but they will follow later this week.
Remember that it is still early season and there are three risks that you have to take into account:
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Stay stoked, Morris