Storm Lotti brought a lot of snow to the Alps last week. I briefly explained how Lotti made her way into the Alps and where she brought the most snow in Friday's video forecast. It's 96 hours later and Lotti has left the Alps and brought a lot of powder. Not that it will end the steady stream of storm depressions. A new storm has already arrived in the Alps and it is snowing already in the southern Piedmont. The air above the Mediterranean Sea will remain unstable for the next three days and PowderAlert #14 is a fact. In this forecast:
The images above were shot by Camilla Andersen in Nassfeld. You can also find them yourself by searching on Instagram on #wepowder. The photos show how good the conditions were last weekend. It was deep and the sun came out every now and then. Most of the powder close to the marked slopes have been tracked and it's time to start searching for powder. If you're willing to hike and have the right knowledge, you can definitely find some good snow. That's not only the case for the southeast of the Alps, but for other regions as well. Those who are willing to hike a little bit will still score.
You could have read an overview of the avalanche danger in the Alps last Thursday. Two things were striking. The rising avalanche danger in the southeast of the Alps because of all the snowfall, but what was even more striking was the dropping avalanche danger in the northwest of the Alps. We had to deal with HIGH to EXTREME avalanche danger in the middle of January, but it decreased to MODERATE to CONSIDERABLE. The snow cover in the northwest is (at the moment!) much more stable than the previous three winters. The nasty layer with old snow with which we had to deal with the previous winters plays no significant role in the northwest of the Alps and this allows you to ride some steeper lines. The snow cover is thicker than normal and there's snow in places where you normally won't find any snow. It's a unique situation. But beware, this is the situation in the northwest of the Alps. By studying the avalanche forecast well, you can ride some steeper lines the coming period. If you have never done anything like this, go out with a certified mountain guide. Below some footage from Koen Bakkers who rode some nice lines this week in La Plagne. You see how important navigation and sluff management is. If you want to ride these kind of lines always inform yourself (for example in La Plagne or Les Arcs or just go out with a mountain guide.
But the situation is not the same everywhere. We saw a lot of avalanche activity in the southeast of the Alps last weekend. The avalanche situation there remains critical. It's still CONSIDERABLE (3 on a scale of 5). Always check your local avalanche forecast and adjust your plans to it.
Off-piste skiing and snowboarding is a sport that comes with risks. Only when you know the risks you can make better decisions. That starts with the right knowledge. You will mainly learn what you are not allowed to do at first, but the more you know and the better your experience you will discover that there are moments during the winter when you can ride those steeper lines. With the right knowledge you choose to ride in the trees at one moment in time, and big open lines on other days. With the right knowledge you learn when you don't want to be in a certain place at a certain time, but eventually you also learn on which parts of the mountain you can ride with a minimum risk and still have lots of fun. That is why we partnered with Salomon and Atomic and started Mountain Academy. To make the most out of your powder day and still end the day with a beer, laughs and your powder buddies.
Want access to the most comprehensive online backcountry snow safety courses for skiers and snowboarders? Use code "TIMETOPLAY1718", valid until the beginning of March, to get access for only 9€ (Reg: 29€). Go to Mountain Academy and start now!
A new storm appeared on the maps on Sunday. This storm is on its way to the Alps from Catalunia (see the black arrow above). Humid air is pushed into the Po-valley with a current from the south to southeast, which provides snow for the next 48-72 hours.
It will snow lightly in the southern French Alps (particularly south of the Ecrins and in the Alpes Marétimes), the north and west of the Piemonte, Liguria on Monday, but most of the snow will fall in the extreme south of the Piedmont.
The storm is coming closer to the Alps on Tuesday and the center of gravity is again in the southern Piedmont and the Apennines. It will snows heavily in these regions with a snow line around 500 meters in the Piedmont and around 900 meters in the Apennines. The snowfall will expand to the pre-Alps in the Dolomites later that day.
The north and west of the Alps are confronted with strong Föhn wind. This wind causes a temporary increase in temperature, but it also results in wind-drifted snow. You can see that the temperature is above zero around 1500 meters on our forecast maps .
The storm passed the center of Italy on Wednesday, and the core is more or less above the Adriatic Sea. As a result, the chances for snow in Carinthia and the Alpe Adria (the area on the border between Austria, Italy and Slovenia) are increasing again. But the big question for now is how much snow will fall. In contrast to storm Lotti, the path of the storm now seems to have a much more southeastern component, which means that most of the snow would fall in Slovenia. But it is still a good 48 hours and practice has taught us that nothing is as fickle as a storm in the Mediterranean.
The new storm will bring fresh snow. Most snow will is forecasted in the Apennines and the southern Piedmont for the next 72 hours. You can expect 30-60, locally 80 cm of fresh snow the next couple of days. The big question mark is the snowfall in the Alpe Adria which is forecasted for Tuesday night and Wednesday. The intensity decreases according to the last runs with which the Alpe Adria are no longer 100% certain. For the time being the powder advice for the next 72 hours is as follows:
The most snow will come fown in those regions, the weekend is over and there are no crowds. You can also start searching for powder in the other regions in the Alps.
The air remains unstable above the Alps after Wednesday, so you can expect a mix of clouds and sun. For the time being there is no significant snow on the maps, but with no strong high pressure area above the Alps and an a jet stream towards the Alps is missing, everything is still possible. If you want guaranteed fresh powder then drive towards the southern Piedmont and the Apennines the next few days. If you have no problem with hiking, check your local avalanche forecast and weather report and choose the sunny moments to go for a nice hike.
We have introduced wePowder Pro this winter. You'll get extra weather and terrain data for € 25,08 per year (you can not even buy a day pass for that amount in many places). This allows us to further expand our service and we have found a way to express your support to us. Many of the readers of wePowder have done that already and the whole wePowder team and myself are grateful for that. This allows us to keep on developing to make our service even better. Thank you very much!
Are you not a wePowder Pro yet, but do you regularly read the weather forecast or use the services on wePowder? With an upgrade to wePowder Pro you support us, you can express your gratitude and you'll ride more powder. And it works great for your karma as well. Thanks! Oh, and you'll get a free 7-day trial when you register yourself on wePowder. No strings attached!
Stay stoked, Morris