PowderAlert #2! Are you ready?

By meteomorris on 5 December 2018 · 9

Bam, it has been snowing in the high alpine of the Alps. Up to 1 meter of fresh snow came down locally in the high alpine since Sunday and between 30-70 cm of snow came down on average above 2300 meters. The ski areas at high altitude have seen the conditions improve again.

Tignes this morning
Tignes this morning

View from the glacier
View from the glacier

Below 2000 meters, on the other hand, the base quickly becomes thin. It was colder with some snowfall yesterday, but as announced the quantities of snow below 2000 meters were limited. The snow will also have a hard time the coming days. We are now in step 2 of the forecast from yesterday: a new storm with mild temperatures and a high snowline, but step 3 is looming in the distance: there comes winter. In this weather forecast:

  • New storm with mild temperatures and a high snow line
  • Winter is coming
  • After the weekend: PowderAlert #2!

New storm with mild temperatures and a high snow line

A new storm brings humidity and mild temperatures. The jetstream is too far north and the Alps have to deal with mild air. Some fronts will gently touch the northeast of the Alps up to and including Friday. This results in another 10-40 cm of fresh snow above 2000 meters, but rain in the valleys. It's a prelude to the drop in temperature that will follow.

Snow forecast until Friday
Snow forecast until Friday

The cold front below follows in the course of Friday. Storm Marielou, who is still far away on the Atlantic on Thursday, then sends an active cold front towards the Alps. And those who look further to the west see another new storm. Yes, the jetstream is on fire!

Winter is coming

The storm that follows Marielou opens the door to winter. Cold and warm fronts still follow each other during the weekend, but winter really kicks in from Sunday. The dynamics that the cold and warm fronts cause make the weekend uncomfortable. The snow line goes up and down, the wind comes from varying directions (varying from southwest to north) and that wind is also often really strong. The snow line fluctuates between 600 and 1300 meters, the wind speeds can reach 100 km/h and there is a lot of snow coming down!


The forecast for this weekend:

  • Saturday: cold air flows into the Alps with a western-northwestern current in the night to Saturday. It will snow in the northwest and later also north of the Alps. Snow line will drop towards 600-1000 meters. There is a stormy wind in the high alpine. There's snow coming down in the main alpine ridge in the southern Alps, but the wind is strong more to the south.
  • Sunday: a warm front will enter the Alps in the night to Sunday. The result is mild air with a lot of moisture. That is good news, because the current turns to the northwest during the course of the morning and a cold front will follow. The warm air is trapped by the cold air and the excess of humid air cools down quickly and produces a lot of snow. The snow line will be locally higher in the morning, but still low in the inner alpine. The snow line will drop to 700 meters and below in the afternoon. You can expect the Föhn to kick in on the south side of the main alpine ridge.
  • Monday: current to the north. The center of gravity of precipitation is thus moving to the entire northern Alps. It's a northern Stau for the first time this winter. There's still a Föhn in the southern Alps and you don't have to expect any significant snow.

Snow forecast for Sunday
Snow forecast for Sunday

After the weekend: PowderAlert #2!

Because of the stormy weather, the large amounts of snow and the lack of a base, there's no PowderAlert for the weekend. The heavy snowfall is forecasted on Sunday and it still snows in the north from Monday. The view is very bad on Sundays due to fresh snow and a lot of wind. Of course, you can just go out next weekend and you will certainly be able to ride some powder, but keep in mind that the weather is very unstable. The weather improves quickly after the weekend and therefore PowderAlert #2 is ON after the weekend!

More details and where to go tomorrow!

Stay stoked, Morris


  • SilverWinterSky
    SilverWinterSky op 5 December 2018 · 20:59
    Hi Morris. Site is looking awesome..!

    I know this is a topic that comes up with some regularity, but is there any chance you could put a set of cross-hairs on top of one your whole alps maps for us? I’m never quite sure where the rough lines between northern/southern and eastern/western sit. You have a post on north/south for the French alps, but I can’t find anything with a wider scope....
  • ecsjones
    ecsjones op 5 December 2018 · 21:04
    love that idea!!
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 5 December 2018 · 21:43
    @SilverWinterSky, will start working on this.
    May the powder be with you.
  • kanski
    kanski op 5 December 2018 · 22:09
    Before everyone gets too excited the next week! Below 2 pictures of Lac des Vaux, Verbier today! The last 2 snow layers have not entered into any binding with the old transformed layers below. The guys of the Faction colletive were busy jumping today, but really everywhere they landed there were cracks in the deck! The new load that is on the verge of falling will not improve the stability. Today they mined the top of the Mont Fort, with the result that they have 1 piste bully less after today! One of the patrollers said; "if you had seen the avalanche, you probably had hung your skies on the willows in the valley"! Ride safe, keep your head in the game and steep is not the way to go next week, at least in south-west Switzerland! It is currently degree 3! But I would say a very high 3 above 2500m!
    Never ski faster than your guardian Angel can fly!
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 6 December 2018 · 07:10
    @kanski, thanks for sharing!
    May the powder be with you.
  • NicZH
    NicZH op 6 December 2018 · 11:51

    Even friendly tree run on Sunday are too challenging?
  • sander_kan102
    sander_kan102 op 6 December 2018 · 12:21
    I was talking about above 2500m. The tree line is from 2200m and below. Overhere there's hardly any snow at that level yet. So I think that will be a different ball game. But have fun, stay safe and tell us how it's been and where you were. Sander
  • magicpeach
    magicpeach op 6 December 2018 · 12:37
    Hi Morris, looks like next Wednesday will be a blue bird powder day for Andermatt?

    The day ticket for Andermatt only cost 10 chf for next Wednesday... Looks like the powder is finger crossed, hopefully the blue bird will also be available. https://ski.ticketcorner.ch/resort/93?forDate=23.12.2018...

    you are progressing on something, that's all about
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 6 December 2018 · 13:47
    Hi Morris, looks like next Wednesday will be a blue bird powder day for Andermatt?

    The day ticket for Andermatt only cost 10 chf for next Wednesday... Looks like the powder is finger crossed, hopefully the blue bird will also be available. https://ski.ticketcorner.ch/resort/93?forDate=23.12.2018...

    magicpeach op 6 Dec 2018 12:37

    @magicpeach, wow. You're right. I would do it. Blue bird and lot's of freshies. Looks like a safe bet.

    @NicZH warm sector will dominate the weather during the morning hours. Cold sector is expected to move in in the afternoon. You need a soldi base for tree runs and a hill between 1400-2000 meter. I would wait until Monday/Tuesday
    May the powder be with you.


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