It is Snowvember, the month in which a good base can be formed for the rest of the season. There are already considerable amounts of snow in the high alpine, especially on the south side of and in the main alpine ridge. The current will remain southern in the coming week. This results in snow for the high alpine on the south side of the main alpine ridge, while it will feel like Spring in the valleys on the northern side of the Alps. In this forecast:
Crazy amounts of snow came down in parts of the Alps last week. In particular (from east to west) south and around the Brenner pass, around the Ortler (Passo Stelvio closed earlier due to too much snow), the southern Engadin (Corvatsch and Diavolezza), the Gotthard region (Andermatt, Airolo), around the Simplon pass (San Domenico, Rothwald, Saas Fee) and the Monte Rosa (Macugnga, Zermatt-Cervinia and Monte Rosa ski), the Gran Paradiso and the bordering regions with the French Haute Maurienne recorded huge amounts of snow. San Domenico is already working hard on the new season.
503 cm of fresh snow came down in a week's time around the Gotthard and the snow cover is already up to 250 cm thick. There also was a lot of snow around the Monte Rosa. At the Rifugio Zamboni at 2070 m. altitude there is already a snow cover that is 191 cm thick. It's the blue area in the map below where a lot of snow has fallen above 2000-2400 meters.
It's November 5th and it's been snowing heavily since the last week of October. It's a nice moment to look back on some seasonal forecasts. Meteo France assumed that autumn would be too wet in southern Europe and rather dry in the north. They seem to have been right. The long-term model of [the ECMWF predicted an autumn that was milder, but that would be with more precipitation for the southern Alps] (https://wepowder.com/en/forum/topic/258668) than normal. It is still very early, but the reality is in line with the prediction right now.
Even more interesting is the scientific article that was published in July that focuses on the relationship between El Niño and the European winter. In particular, the precipitation is relevant for us in this case. Because if there is evidence that El Niño provides more snow then that would be great news. There's no correlation for the winter months, but there is for autumn. In November in particular, an El Niño is much wetter than normal on the southern side of the main alpine ridge. And that is exactly how November started. If this pattern continues like this, then it's promising for the main alpine ridge and the areas to the south. (more info: click here)
With storm depressions above or to the west of Ireland, the south to southwestern current in the Alps will remain dominant for the coming week. This usually means instability on the south side of the Alps and a Föhn and milder temperatures on the northern side of the Alps. Only when the storm depressions succeed in reaching the European mainland there will be room for colder polar air to move to the Alps.
For now, the Alps will have to deal with snowfall for the high alpine on the south side of the main alpine ridge. The snow comes down above 2000 meters (because of the mild temperatures), but the snow line may drop later. You can follow the current forecasts and details on our forecast page. The forecasts for the first few days are free. If you want to look into the future, [wePowder Pro] (https://wepowder.com/nl/pro) is the service for you. For the price less than a day pass you won't miss a dump again this season.
Snow in the south often means a Föhn storm in the north. The current is coming straight from the south today (Monday) and Tuesday. This results in a strong Föhn. As a result, the temperature can rise to +23 degrees on the northern side of the Alps today and Tuesday.
A look at the plots shows that the models are still searching for winter. It remains too warm for the time of year with the most snow for the high alpine the coming week. No weather for to make technical snow and so it will remain to look like summer in large parts of the low and mid-mountain ranges of the Alps. If the long-term forecasts of the aforementioned models are correct, this may take a long time.
Stay stoked, Morris