We are on the eve of a turbulent week. A storm that is still south of Greenland and moves across the Atlantic towards France in no time. The beautiful weather in the Alps is coming to an end after Boxing Day. The weather will change from Wednesday the 27th of December, when a storm depression will position itself north and south of the Alps and a lot of snow will fall in the Alps between Wednesday and Friday (PowderAlert #8).
According to the latest calculations, the temperature will rise again after this period, but there is still a lot of uncertainty in the long-term calculations. In this forecast:
The snow cover has become pretty humid in many places up to around 1200-1700 meters due the warm front that came in on Friday. In addition, Saturday was very mild with a freezing level well above 2000 meters. You can now find a crusty layer on top of the snow cover in a lot of places up to about 1600 meters (but on some steeper sunny faces even up to 2300 meters) after the cold night from Saturday to Sunday. Nevertheless you can still find good snow on north facing slopes, the slopes where the rays of the sun don't radiate directly and just below the tree line. You just have to do something a bit more to find it.
Sunday and Monday will be extremely mild and the temperature will rise to 5-8 degrees above zero at 2000 meters. It will be even warmer directly in the sun. Fortunately, the night to Monday is clear and cold and the sun is relatively low so there aren't much consequences for the snow cover.
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The first (weak) front passes through the Alps on Tuesday. This will result in 2-15 cm of snow in the western Alps. The snow line is around 1000-1200 meters and the clouds are moving into the Alps during the day. It's a typical transition day before the real storm violence comes in. The wind turns to the southwest at the end of Boxing Day and the Po-plain is filled with clouds. The first signals of a wam front.
It starts to snow heavily in the southern French Alps ([check out this article to learn more about this region] (http://wepowder.com/en/forum/topic/251430)) and on the south side of the main alpine ridge in the night to Wednesday. There is a Föhn from the south in the nothern Alps and the night becomes very mild. It snows from about 500 to 1000 meters south of the main alpine ridge, where the quantities especially in the Italian Alps can increase considerably during the course of the morning. Expect 30-70, locally 90 cm by Thursday morning.
Cold air arrives in the Alps from the northwest during the course of the morning and it starts to snow in the northern French Alps and later in the rest of the northern Alps. You can expect 20-50 cm of fresh snow there. Thursday will be a powder day, especially in combination with the thick snow cover.
The sun will temporarily come out on Thursday and you can enjoy all that fresh powder. It looks like the entire Alps will have a powder day. I'll give you some advice on where to go later this week. There will be a new front coming in from the northwest with snowfall deep into the valleys for the French Alps on Friday. It is still cold and it is again a beautiful powder day where you are best off in the woods because of the snowfall.
A warm front could arrive during Saturday and that could bring rain up to high altitude. Details and timing are still big questions. Have a great Christmas!
Stay stoked, Morris