The coldest week of this winter comes to an end. After five days with an icy current from the east, the jet stream turns back to the southwest and it will send three fronts to the Alps up to and including Sunday. This results in a lot of snow in the southwest of the Alps. The temperature will rise and this will cause the snow line to rise slowly, but at the same time the avalanche risk will rise. You have to be in the southern French Alps and the western and southern Piedmont until Sunday for the best snow. There is more snow in the forecast after the weekend. In this forecast:
It's snowing in the southern French Alps and the bordering areas in the Italian Piedmont since Wednesday afternoon. The wind turned to the southwest and it was very cold. The valleys are filled with heavy cold air and mild air comes in from the southwest which will place itself on top of this cold air. This produces 30-60 cm of snow to the west and south of the Ecrins up to and including Thursday afternoon. There is also a lot of cold snow in forecast for the Alpes Maretimes and the southern Piedmont. The quantities are decreasing more to the east, but you can also expect around 30 cm in the western Piedmont. The snow that comes down is cold and light and Thursday will be a cold smoke blower pow day. Points of interest are the wind (wind slabs are formed) and the rising temperature in the afternoon. The avalanche risk is also HIGH in many places on Thursday. Enjoy the cold snow, but know before you go!
There's not enough fresh snow coming down in the rest of the Alps (northern French Alps and Switzerland), the wind is strong (parts of the Swiss Alps) or the visibility is limited (Dolomites). You could consider a tour in Austria, because it is sunny but cold. Please keep in mind that wind slabs will be formed.
A new front will arrive on Friday. This one slightly comes from the west, but still produces enough snow in the south and west of the Ecrins. It has become a bit milder and as a result the snow is heavier. This snow falls on top of very cold powder and this will result in an explosive snow cover. This will be the case above the tree line, but also in those parts of the trees where the wind can influence the snow. So please be careful. Nevertheless, it's another powder day in the southwest again. Especially when the sun comes out again in the course of the afternoon.
There's not enough fresh snow coming down in the rest of the Alps (northern French Alps and Switzerland), the wind is strong (parts of the Swiss Alps) or the visibility is limited again (Dolomites). It will be sunny in Austria, but the wind will be stronger, so touring won't be an option.
A third front arrives on Saturday. This one is coming more from the southwest and it will bring a lot of snow to the southwest of the Alps. The biggest disadvantage is that the temperature will rise right after. Even more heavier snow on top of a snow cover that is already not that stable, especially above the tree line. Be very careful, especially because of the rising temperatures. Nevertheless, it's another powder day in the southwest again.
The avalanche risk will rise to HIGH (4 on a scale of 5) in large parts of the Alps (thanks to all the new snow). The combination of a lot of snow, a build-up from cold to mild, strong wind in the high alpine and rising temperatures results in a rising avalanche risk. Please read the local avalanche forecast and adapt your plans to it.
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You can expect about 30-60, locally 100 cm of fresh snow at 1500-2000 meters up to and including Saturday. The temperature will rise from Saturday and it will quickly become milder and the sun will come out. Keep in mind that this snow (which is heavier) falls on top of ice-cold powder and the avalanche danger will rise. At least to 3 (CONSIDERABLE), but it might even be a 4 (HIGH). Keep that in mind.
PowderAlert #19 is ON from Thursday till Saturday for:
New storms are coming in after the weekend. The current is still coming from the southwest to south with lots of snow for the southern French Alps, but also for the rest of the southern Alps at the start of the week. There's a strong Föhn wind in the north and it's mild. There will be room for a cold front only in the middle of next week. You'll find the best sno in the southwest or the south of the Alps in the beginning of next week.
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! And... it's stil cold in the Alps, so don't forget to order your wePowder beanie!
Stay stoked. Morris