It's been snowing heavily in the Italian Piedmont, the Aosta and the bordering areas of Switzerland and France since yesterday afternoon. The center of gravity of this snowfall is currently moving to the Gotthard region where the snowfall will slowly decrease on Friday. It is the last spike of a snow event that started last Saturday. The conditions in the high alpine have improved considerably and the base for the coming winter is there. The supply of cold polar air via Spain will be cut off in the coming days. The jet stream is more to the north and the Alps are in very mild air.
Above the snow forecast for the next 48 hours for the Alps (all details can be found here). It started snowing again on the south side of the main alpine ridge on Wednesday. First of all, mainly in the Piedmont and the bordering areas in France, but the current turned from southeast to east during the night and the center of gravity shifted more to the border between Switzerland and Italy. There has been 20-50, locally already 90 cm of fresh snow since yesterday and it's now snowing heavily around the Monte Rosa, Simplon and Gotthard.
There's already 150 cm+ at 2400 meters in Alagna.
It's also winter on the Swiss side of the border. The owner of the cottage below said to be a little later at work today because of a little bit of snow last night.
On the Wenghorn (in the south of Wallis between the Simplon and Saas Fee), 89 cm of fresh snow came down in the last 24 hours. 311 cm of fresh snow came down since Saturday and the snow cover is now almost 2 meters thick.
311 cm of fresh snow and a snow cover of almost 2 meters. What's up with that? Well, snow settles due to its mass and the temperature. Read this article to know more about that.
Avalanche services in Switzerland have been awakened from their summer sleep thanks to the snowfall. The first avalanche forecast was published at the end of last week appeared and for the first time this winter the avalanche danger is HIGH (4 on a scale of 5).
In the western and southern Piedmont about 15-40 cm of fresh snow came down. A bit less than in other regions, but there is also a snow cover of about 50-80 cm at an altitude of 2400 meters. Sestrière snowed in for the first time this season last night.
It also snowed deep into the valley in Prali and their two-seater chair was fully snowed in for the first time this season.
It also snowed in the French ski resorts close to the Italian border in the last 24 hours. The top station of Valfrejus has changed in a setting where Scott and Amundsen would feel comfortable, while the larch forests of Val Cenis are already looking good and Saint Veran (Queyras) shows you its beauty. You would almost forget that it is still October.
It will remain unstable with snowfall up to and including Saturday. But the freezing level slowly rises towards 2000 meters and later even 2500 meters. As a result, the snow will become heavier and it will also melt lower on the mountain. It is the prelude to a warmer period.
The jet stream was responsible for the transport of polar air to the Spanish mainland (and with lots of snow for the Pyrenees and the Picos) the last couple of days. This cold air could mix with the humid air over the Mediterranean sea and the result is now visible in the Alps: the first snow cover. But next week the cold air will be cut off. She no longer comes to the European mainland and even has difficulties reaching Scandinavia. The result is that the Alps will be positioned in a very mild southern current. This creates a warm southern Föhn on the north side of the Alps and some instability on the south side of the Alps with sometimes some rain (and snow at high altitude) as a result. This warm weather may possibly last the whole week. More about that in the coming weekend.
Stay stoked, Morris