It has been snowing in Austria since Sunday evening. A lot of snow came down especially in the east of Austria. On average between 25-50 cm, locally even more, but the wind is a showstopper. The wind was pretty strong above the tree line and it's still pretty strong today. The sun is shining in the rest of the Alps and mild air is coming in. In this forecast:
They are having a great start of the season in the northern Alps, on the border with Slovenia, Italy and Austria, in the French northern Alps and the in Italian Piedmont. The snow cover is (much) thicker than normal and more and more ski areas are opening their lifts. There are a lot of resorts open in Austria and Switzerland and more resorts will open this weekend. I'll give you an update on Thursday where you can find the best powder this weekend.
Clouds arrived in the Alps on the flanks of high pressure area Anke yesterday. This resulted in heavy snowfall, especially in the Salzburgerland and Steiermark. The isobars were fairly close to each other, so there also was a lot of wind. And 50 cm of fresh snow and a lot of wind results in a critical avalanche situation. There is a 'high avalanche danger level 3' above the tree line and you should ride with care. When you want to ride powder the next couple of days: always (as in: always) bring an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe, ride with friends, check your local avalanche forecast and avoid slopes that are too steep.
There are already ski areas in the eastern Alps where the lifts are running and where there's a good base below the tree line. Just have a look at the forecast map and you'll figure it out where they are.
The presence of high pressure area Anke results in rising temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday. A mild current from the southwest is allowed to reach the Alps, the jet stream is situated north of the Alps and storms are kept at a distance. But not for long. Storm Walter is ready to rumble as you can see on the map above. Thanks to a powerful high pressure area above Siberia Walter is forced to head to the Alps.
Cold air will reach the western Alps in the night to Friday and it starts to snow again. It is the 7th storm in six weeks and also the 6th storm that brings snow to the northern Alps. This means that there will be a PowderAlert for the northern Alps again this weekend. More details about that tomorrow, but you can start waxing again. It is not expected to be as sunny as last weekend in the northern Alps, but in return you get some fresh snow. Wax up!
If you can't hit the snow this weekend and you're curious what the weather will be during Christmas: be patient. It's too far in the future to say something about it that actually makes sense. I will outline some scenarios for the long term tomorrow.
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Stay stoked Morris