A very active and powerful storm with the name Edilbert (what's in a name?) determines the weather in the Alps the next 60 hours. Wednesday morning is dominated by a southern Stau and Föhn from the south, but the cold front arrives in the Alps after the lunch and it will start snowing from the northwest. Thursday and Friday are powder days (PowderAlert #8), but do not wait too long. The last weekend of 2017 starts with high temperatures with the freezing level going up to 1800-2100 meters. Luckily, just before or just after New Year's Eve, the temperature will drop again with snowfall deep into the valleys. The question is how long it will continue snowing. The chance is realistic that we will start the first week of January with a lot of storm violence that will come with a shifting snow line. In this forecast:
A weak cold front gently touches the northwest of the Alps today. It snows lightly this morning in the Haute Savoie and the west of the Savoie and Switzerland. You can expect 5-15 cm of fresh snow this afternoon.
It's still sunny in the rest of the Alps, but by the end of Boxing Day the Po-plain is filled with clouds and it begins to snow lightly.
Wednesday starts with an intense Stau from the south caused by a southwestern current. It will start snowing in the Italian Alps and Dolomites and Carinthia and the quantities can be considerable with about 20-60 cm of fresh snow. The snow line can be found between 600 and 1100 meters. There is a strong Föhn from the south in the northern Alps and that will close some top lifts in Austria and Switzerland on Wednesday morning.
The intensity will decrease after the passage of the front in the south of the French Southern Alps. A cold front arrives into the Alps from the northwest after lunch. This will bring a lot of snow to the northern French Alps, the north of the southern French Alps and the snowfall will extend in the form of a snow sandwich towards Switzerland and Vorarlberg. At the same time, it is still snowing heavily in northeastern Italy. This front is heading east in the night to Thursday and it will snow heavily in Tyrol, the Salzburgerland and Styria.
There is a new front approaching from the west which will bring a lot of snow to the northern French Alps and the north of the southern French Alps. The snowfall will extend to Switzerland and Vorarlberg. It will still snow in the northern Alps on Thursday, but the sun will come out from the west.
There is also room for the sun on Thursday and Friday (but there will also be some clouds). Thursday will be cold, but it gets warmer from the west during the day on Friday. It's an indication that PowderAlert # 8 is coming to an end.
The map above shows the snowfall for the coming days. It will snow heavily wspecially on Wednesday and the night to Thursday. The air will still be cold on Thursday (and it will stop snowing), there are still plenty of options to find powder. You'll have to start looking for treeruns at first, but chances are that you can enjoy the sun on Thursday and Friday as well, especially in the French and Italian Alps. Tips:
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The rising temperatures on Friday is an announcement of even higher temperatures. There is a warm front with rain coming in in the night to Saturday or on Saturday itself (timing is not clear). Because there is still heavy cold air in the valleys, it will snow deep into the valleys, but the snow line will rise on Saturday. In particular, precipitation is expected in the northwest and north of the Alps and the ski resorts in the northern French Alps, but also Switzerland and Austria can expect rain on Saturday and Sunday up to about 1200-1600 meters, but even locally 2000 meters on Sunday.
This mild weather continues (according to the latest calculations) until the new year. Then it would (temporarily) become colder with snow down to the valleys and then milder temperatures again. In short: January starts with yo-yo weather (shifting snow lines).
Enjoy Thursday and Friday, but ride with care. Three people died in avalanches the last couple of days.
Stay stoked, Morris