The storm that we have been waiting for for weeks has arrived in the northwest and north of the Alps. After a mild start of Sunday, colder air now (end of Sunday afternoon) flows into the Alps. The snowfall comes with a lot of wind. The combination of wind and snow results in an interesting avalanche situation and it's already HIGH (4 on a scale of 5) locally. The storm that first brought snow to the northwest shifts further to the east in the coming hours. Because the air pressure rises from the west, the precipitation decreases rapidly in the west from Monday afternoon. On the north side of the Alps and then in particular Austria and the east of Switzerland, on the other hand, it continues to snow for 24-48 hours.
The conditions have clearly improved in the northwest of the Alps over 1800-2000 meters. Between 40-80 cm of fresh snow has already fallen above 1800 meters since Friday. The conditions will improve in the north of the Alps over the next 24-48 hours. Another 40-80, locally even 100 cm of snow is expected above 1500 meters. Especially above 1500-2000 meters we see the conditions improve rapidly. But keep in mind that there was virtually no base in these areas below 2000-2400 meters before the storm kicked in.
It will snow heavily again in the northwest of the Alps until Monday morning. The cold front is there and the snow line drops deep into the valleys. The precipitation decreases in the course of Monday, but whether the sun can also poke through it is not clear yet. It is certain that the intensity of the precipitation decreases, just like the wind. You can ride powder can in the northwest especially on Monday. It is completely ON in the areas below when the sun comes through from Tuesday. Above 2000-2200 meters the conditions are already good for the time of the year.
It then still snows heavily on the north side of the Alps. The snowfall decreases from the west on Monday, but the snowfall continues in Austria and eastern Switzerland until Tuesday. The snow line is located deep in the valleys and especially in the northern Stau areas of Austria and the Glanerland you can expect large amounts of snow to come down. Deep in the Alps and especially in and to the south of the main alpine ridge, the snow quantities decrease rapidly. Unfortunately, there is no base in the northern Stau areas yet and there is in the main alpine ridge. The areas that already have a base get less snow (and a lot of wind) and the areas without a base get a lot of snow and less wind on the mountain. It is becoming a matter of compromising. Big exception is: Andermatt. There already was a solid base after the southern storms and the mild storms of last week. In addition, it is snowing now and that continues until Tuesday.
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What are the compromises? You can ride powder in the north on lower alpine meadows on Wednesday. But where rocks form the base, or broken branches lie between the trees, the lack of base will break you up. Those who go higher in the mountains have to deal with a base that is just thick enough over 2200-2400 meters to carelessly ride powder. Keep that in mind. The tips for Tuesday, but especially from Wednesday for the north are:
In addition, the glacier areas of Austria where you can already find a base.
And of course the resorts from Monday:
A lot of snow, a fluctuating snow line and lots of wind. The avalanche danger has risen considerably. Touring will certainly be difficult in the next 48 hours and outside the slopes you need the right knowledge. Always check your local avalanche forecast and adapt your plans to it. (Tip: you will find a link to the local avalanche forecast from each village on wepowder, but you can also visit this page).
Tuesday and Wednesday will be good days. There will also be time to go touring later this week.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are real winter days. Snow deep in the valleys, sun and much colder than last week. There will be a new storm cycle on the maps before the end of this week. The one forecast results in low temperatures and snow on the maps, to change into something completely different 6 to 12 hours later, when the jet stream is too far north with mild temperatures and a high snow line.
First enjoy PowderAlert # 2 in the areas mentioned aboe. In the meantime I keep you informed of further developments.
Stay stoked, Morris