Avalanche situation in the Alps (week 6): mostly MODERATE avalanche danger

By meteomorris on 8 February 2018 · 0

Hereby the overview of the current avalanche danger in the Alps (week 6). The avalanche danger is MODERATE in large parts of the Alps (2 on a scale of 5). The risk in the regions that got hammered during PowderAlert #13 and #14 is CONSIDERABLE according to the local avalanche services, with a risk of wind-drifted snow (slab avalanches). The layer with old snow is still a problem in the Alpe Adria. Please note that this danger isn't visible!

The avalanche forecast is an indispensable tool if you want to go off-piste. In addition to the current avalanche danger in the form of a figure, it contains a range of data that's very useful to you as a skier or snowboarder. You'll find a global overview of the Alps below with links to the various avalanche forecasts. For an explanation of the icons used and the avalanche scale, click here.

You can find an overview of the current avalanche situation in the Alps on wePowder every Thursday. It's based on the current avalanche forecast in the Alps. This overview is definitely not complete, but gives you a good impression of the current avalanche danger. We strongly advise you to read the complete avalanche forecast.

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Mainly MODERATE, locally CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger

The Alps had to deal with EXTREME avalanche danger last month. A couple of big storms caused resulted in EXTREME avalanche danger and a snow cover that's as thick (or even thicker) at 2000 meters as in the avalanche winter of 1999/2000. The snow cover has settled itself and is pretty stable at the moment. Experts can properly recognize the problems and risks in and of the snow cover. An exception is the old layer in the Alpe Adria. This risk is not visible with the naked eye, not even for experts.

No rights can be derived from the map below. It just gives you an overall view of the situation in the Alps. Always check the local avalanche forecast. You will find the direct links below, but you'll also find the links on the resort and ski area pages on wePowder.

Weekend: mix of sun and clouds, new storm from Sunday

The weather in the Alps is relatively calm with a mix of sun and clouds. The sun is shining regularly on the highest peaks, while the valleys are filled with clouds. Occasionally there is a flake of snow coming down and it's pretty cold. There are no major changes in the air, so the avalanche danger will not change significantly until Sunday. A new storm is expected by the end of the weekend. The avalanche danger will rise when the fresh snow comes down and the wind kicks in. You'll find the main avalanche problems per region below:

Western Alps

The snow cover in the western Alps has been able to stabilize itself even better during the past week. Glide snow avalanches are rarely a problem anymore and if they arise then especially on sunny faces. There's still a considerable possibility of slab avalanches in the southern French Alps (due to the storm in the beginning of this week) and there's some wind-drifted snow in the bordering regions of the northern French Alps. The biggest risk right now:

  • Slab avalanches

Direct links to regional avalanche forecasts:

Note: the site of Météo France is a drama and the links do not always work. Unfortunately, we can not do anything about that.

Northern Alps

The snow cover in the northern Alps has been able to stabilize itself even better during the past week. A storm brought a lot of snow to the Hohe Tauern and a Föhn to the northern Alps. This combination of fresh snow and wind resulted in wind-drifted snow. The biggest risks at the moment are:

  • Slab avalanches
  • A rare glide snow avalanche

Direct links to regional avalanche forecasts:

Western southern Alps

The snow cover in the western southern Alps was had to process a storm at the beginning of this week. This resulted in a lot of snow especially in the south. That snow has now slowly settled and, especially in the south of the Piedmont, this still results in a CONSIDERABLE avalanche risk (3 on a scale of 5). The combination of snow and wind also resulted in wind-drifted snow. Biggest risk at the moment:

  • Slab avalanches

Direct links to regional avalanche forecasts:

Eastern southern Alps

The snow cover in the eastern southern Alps had to process two storms through this week. Those storms brought especially a lot of snow to the Alpe Adria (see the separate paragraph below). The snow has been able to settle. Biggest problem right now:

  • Slab avalanches

Direct links to regional avalanche forecasts:

Alpe Adria: old snow layer problems

The Alpe Adria got hammered last week. Deep in the snow cover you'll find a weak layer that can be triggered by the weight of the fresh snow or a single skier or boarder. This danger isn't visible with the naked eye! The biggest problems right now:

  • Slab avalanches
  • Weak layer deep in the snow cover

Direct links to regional avalanche forecasts:


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