PA#3: a lot of snow for the western Alps

By meteomorris on 16 December 2018 · 4

It began to snow lightly in the northwest of the Alps in the night from Saturday to Sunday. Around 5-15 cm of fresh snow came down above 900-1600 meters between Chambery and the Arlberg. This marked the end of two very cold but sunny days in the Alps. With the turning of the current from east to west, the Alps are dealing with humid ocean air.

Fresh snow in the south of Germany
Fresh snow in the south of Germany

The western Alps will remain under the influence of a western current in the coming week. The jet stream hits the Alps from time to time which regularly ensures fresh snow. The snow line fluctuates quite a bit, with warm fronts (like today) it climbs in the west to the 1400-1700 meters, while in the east it hangs around 900-1400 meters. The cold fronts then cause a declining trend because colder air then finds its way towards the Alps.

Current coming from the west
Current coming from the west

The northwest of the Alps is under the influence of the first storm until Monday. The center of gravity of the precipitation can be found in the French northern Alps and the far west of Switzerland until Monday evening. You can expect 20-40, locally 50 cm of fresh snow above 1800 meters up to and including Monday evening. Significant snow falls up to the Arlberg. Once you've passed the tunnel, the amounts of snow quickly decrease. There is 10-30 cm of fresh snow above 1400 meters in the forecast for the north of Switzerland and Vorarlberg in Austria until Monday evening.

Snow forecast until Monday
Snow forecast until Monday

PA#3, Tuesday will be a powder day

The sun will come out after the snowfall on Sunday and Monday. There is plenty of fresh snow for a PowderAlert above 1900 meters. The sun comes out on Tuesday and you can ride great powder in:

The more to the west, the more snow. But pay attention. The combination of a lot of fresh snow, wind and a weak old base layer is the cause of this. 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).

PA#3 part II: new storm for the western Alps from Wednesday

There will be a new storm coming in on Wednesday. First of all, the current turns to southwest so that the French southern Alps, the Piedmont, southern Wallis, Ticino, the Engadin and Lombardia get a lot of snow, but a cold front will kick in in the evening that will deliver snow to the northwest of the Alps. Either first southwest, then northwest. The rest of the Alps (all east of the line Arlberg - Passo Tonale) see significantly less or even no fresh snow. PA #3 part II is for the western Alps again. It's a great week to ride some powder before the Christmas holidays start. More details tomorrow!

Snow for the southwest
Snow for the southwest

Snow for the northwest
Snow for the northwest

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Stay stoked, Morris


  • jonnoyo
    jonnoyo op 16 December 2018 · 17:26
    What’s going to happen Christmas week Morris ? Will it rain in three valleys ?
  • ecsjones
    ecsjones op 17 December 2018 · 12:53
    not looking super promising after this thursday/friday with temps rising and snow stopping through the i seeing this right?!
    Advanced op 17 December 2018 · 14:26
    Tignes today was good

    Advanced op 18 December 2018 · 16:25
    One more good and sunny day in Tignes.
    Thank you for the powder advice 😃
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