PA #6: it's getting really deep! Go to the northeast of the Alps!

By meteomorris on 2 January 2019 · 12

Welcome 2019! Welcome PowderAlert #6! Anyone who is flexible in their time, loves fresh powder snow and is not afraid of huge amounts of fresh snow, should head to the northeast of the Alps. Do not forget to pack your fattest skis and/or your powder board, because it will be very deep. I'd like to warn you: it will locally be too deep if you go towards the northeast of the Alps. There won't be that much snow coming down in the northwest of the Alps, while the western and southern Alps won't see any fresh snow. In this forecast:

  • Magical start of 2019 in the northern Alps
  • Wednesday: another northern Stau
  • Thursday: the weather calms down with some flakes in the northeast
  • Locally HIGH avalanche danger
  • Epic dump from Friday?
  • PA#6: Where to go?
  • And what about the western and southern Alps?

Magical start of 2019 in the northern Alps

The promised powder day on Tuesday with nice weather followed after the snow on Sunday and Monday. It was much deeper than expected with 50-100 cm of fresh snow in the northern Stau areas to the east of Innsbruck. The sun came out after the snowfall on Tuesday afternoon and this resulted in magical moments in the northeast of Austria. The clouds stayed longer in the far east, but it was a day with powder and sun more to the west of Austria and the east of Switzerland.

Anyone who traveled further west towards the French Alps, or who crossed the main alpine ridge to Italy only found sunshine. No fresh snow here, but snow that is sometimes a couple of weeks old, as is the case in the Dolomites. That won't change in the coming week. The west (French Alps), northwest of the Alps (west of Switzerland) and the south (Italy, Ticino, Engadin and Carinthia) do not see snow in the next couple of days and the sun is dominant. Only the areas close to the Hohe Tauern in Austria can expect some fresh snow that's coming over the main alpine ridge.

Wednesday: another northern Stau

Today (Wednesday) is dominated by a northern Stau again. A strong northern current brings snowfall and lots of wind to the east of Switzerland and the nortehrn Stau regions of Austria. The snow line is deep in the valleys. There is about 20-45 cm of fresh snow with local peaks towards 60-70 cm coming down until Friday morning. It will snow heavily especially in the east again. The wind is a deal breaker and will further sharpen the avalanche danger.

Snow forecast until Friday morning
Snow forecast until Friday morning

Thursday: the weather calms down with some flakes in the northeast

The intensity of the snowfall decreases in the north of the Alps and there is even room for the sun on Thursday. It's a nice day to ride powder. The snow cover has grown considerably in Austria the last couple of days.

There were only a few places in Austria where the snow cover was thicker than 150 cm at the end of 2018. But the snow cover on the mountains is already 200 cm thick and locally even 300 cm and more has been measured in the beginning of 2019!

Thursday will be a great day and the tree runs will be pretty good with all that snowfall.

Locally HIGH avalanche danger

A lot of snow and a lot of wind = rising avalanche danger. Locally, the avalanche danger has already risen to HIGH (4 on a scale of 5). Expect tricky avalanche conditions. You're best off in the forests and avoid big steep faces above you. Knowledge and skills are necessary for those who want to ride in the off-piste steeper than 30 degrees in the coming days.

Huge dump from Friday
Huge dump from Friday

Epic dump from Friday?

The conditions are already fantastic with such a thick snow cover and the fresh snow that's coming down today (Wednesday), but King Winter is throwing in something extra. There will be a very active front coming in with lots of fresh snow especially for the northeast in the course of Friday. The supplied air is a bit warmer on Friday/Saturday. As a result, the snow line temporarily rises towards 700-1000 meters, especially in the west. Much more important is that this warmer air contains more moisture so that if the colder air follows later, all this moisture is squeezed out of the clouds in the form of snow.

Snowfall until Monday
Snowfall until Monday

It's dumping like crazy between today and Monday. In particular, the northern Stau areas of Styria, the Salzburgerland, Oberosterreich, Niederosterreich and Tyrol receive a lot of snow. Maybe even locally too much (it just gets too deep). Too deep when you're looking at the avalanche danger, but possibly also too deep to be able to make your way through terrain that's a bit flatter. More about this later this week.

PA#6: Where to go?

You'll ride great powder in the regions below until Friday. The further east, the deeper:

Choose for the lower parts on the mountain because of the avalanche danger. Treeruns are the best and I mean those runs where the trees are very close together. There will be more news about the super dump and tips where to go during PA #7 on Friday.

And what about the western and southern Alps?

The most important weather models are very pessimistic and assume that up to and including the 10th of January there will be no significant snowfall in the west and certainly not in the south. According to some calculations, this can even persist until January the 12th or later. Go East!

As wePowder Pro you get access to the 14-day snow and weather maps and the 14-day forecast per resorts (we've got all the resorts in the Alps covered). You never have to miss a dump anymore. When you are wePowder Pro you also have access to 1000+ inspirational freeride routes in the most beautiful freeride areas of the Alps. Sign up as wePowder Pro today. It works great for your karma as well and you'll support the development of the wePowder platform! Thanks!

May the powder be with you in 2019!

Stay stoked, Morris


  • Clarky
    Clarky op 2 January 2019 · 14:23
    Already pretty deep in OÖ 😉

  • Ed48
    Ed48 op 2 January 2019 · 16:51
    Ha ha I like your optimism Morris! 😃
    Because of high wind during all recent snowfall and poor base at forest level, this PA does not look very good to be honest.
    But Im sure everyone will find some deep stash to post on the facebook 😃
  • Clarky
    Clarky op 2 January 2019 · 17:29

    *message edited by Clarky op 2 Jan 2019 17:32 (100% bewerkt)
  • mrpowderjunkie
    mrpowderjunkie op 2 January 2019 · 21:04
    Deeeeeeeeeeeep is what I Love 😃

  • kirsten_dl
    kirsten_dl op 3 January 2019 · 09:12
    #climatechange bring it on! ** Ski Heil!!
  • lukaŠkvarč
    lukaŠkvarč op 3 January 2019 · 12:39
    Hi guys, where in Austria to go this weekend? I don't know any resorts with good tree runs, which would you recommend? A cheap ski pass is a plus 😃
  • maxxx
    maxxx op 3 January 2019 · 15:18
    same question as luka.

    Already pretty deep in OÖ 😉

    Clarky op 2 Jan 2019 14:23
    Where is it?
  • Shredomator
    Shredomator op 3 January 2019 · 15:39
    Hi, I would also like to know which are some of the cheapest resorts in Austria.
  • NicZH
    NicZH op 3 January 2019 · 19:39
    @ed48 powder wasn't fake for tree lines in Lenzerheide yesterday but agree I missed the shot face. This weekend looks even deeper! Best tree lines I know are Lenzerheide/Tschiertschen and Pizol. Davos and Laax probably suits too...
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 3 January 2019 · 22:21
    Hi, I would also like to know which are some of the cheapest resorts in Austria.Shredomator op 3 Jan 2019 15:39

    cheapest or deepest? 😉
    May the powder be with you.
  • Petter
    Petter op 4 January 2019 · 09:37
    Deep pow = priceless =)
    Snow should always be dry, cold, and free. Like champagne!
  • opisska
    opisska op 4 January 2019 · 10:14
    Yeah, researching tree runs is the hardest thing in the business. Everything is full of exposed super fun high pow slopes, but tree riding is almost a clandestine activity. It's also forbidden in a lot of areas in Austria and getting good info on where that happens is also hard outside of scouting the terrain physically for signposts.

    That having said, I am doing Wurzeralm on Sunday, which seems good for a very snowy day and then trying Tauplitz on Monday if it clears a little. If the 3 meters come down though, you'll probably have to wait until spring to find me again 😃


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