For the first time this winter a real 'quattro stagioni week'. A week with snow and wind from all directions and temperatures that go up and down. Such a week where one morning gives you the feeling of being in the Artic, while the other morning a warm Föhn wind forces you to take a few layers off. It is the first time this winter that we are served a 'quattro stagioni'. You might feel 4 seasons in a week's time. Typically a week in which you can test your gloves, goggles, jacket and pants to the fullest.
A strong western jet stream will send at least 3 storms to the Alps over the next 8 days.
A huge amount of snow falls in the French southern Alps and the southern Alps between Thursday and Saturday. At the same time, a strong southern Föhn will hammer the northern side of the main alpine ridge and will cause the freezing level to rise temporarily.
Once the low pressure area has passed the Alps, snow will follow for the northern Alps later, with possibly a storm after the weekend. That would be 4 storms, although the latter is certainly not sure yet. When all storm violence has passed, peace seems to return. All major models foresee high pressure from February 8th, but that is still hard to forecast.
Well, where to go next week? There will be snow for the northwest, west and south. The wind will be strong from time to time and the temperature will rise on Friday in the northern Alps. Who wants to ride powder every day follows this recipe this week.
It snows again in the northwest in the night to Tuesday. Most snow will come down in the Swiss northern alpine ridge and the Austrian region of Vorarlberg where you can expect 20-40 cm of fresh snow. The sun will come out on Tuesday and it will be ON in:
You can also ride good powder in:
A new storm will result in fresh snow in the French northern Alps in the night to Wednesday, expect 10-35 cm of fresh snow. More than enough to make the tracks disappear again. Because the sun comes out again it is great to ride in:
But of course there is still good powder to be found in the areas in Switzerland and Austria that I mentioned above. If you go for a hike, you will certainly find powder. In addition, a flake may fall on Wednesday.
A huge storm pulls into the French southern Alps and the southern Alps in the night to Friday. Because the snow cover between the trees is too thin in many places (some ski resorts in the north of the French Hautes Alpes aside, just like the treeruns of Sestrière) treeruns are not really there. It's a nice day to stretch the legs, drive from the northwest to the south and/or enjoy the best espresso in the world in bella Italia.
You can also ride in the northern Alps on Friday, but pay attention. There is a strong southern Föhn, it is mild and the avalanche danger will rise. Especially in the vicinity of ridges large fresh storm slabs are created. Please watch out for that, also if you go on a tour and the wind in the valleys doesn't feel that strong. In addition, some lifts will definitely close temporarily.
Anyway, the front will be gone on Saturday, the current turns to the northwest and the sun comes out. Saturday and Sunday will be good powder days in the south, but note: 1. it is only the second period with snowfall and the snow cover is thin (real early season conditions) below 2000 meters, 2. a northern Föhn will kick in above the tree line on Saturday and this will result in fresh wind slabs (avalanche danger) and 3. the current snow cover is old and the new snow will not easily attach to it (= instant avalanche danger).
But nevertheless finally the first snow for the south and certainly a PowderAlert. I will focus my advice on where to go later this week. It will certainly not be the Dolomites, the snow cover is still too thin, also in the high alpine.
Once the southern storm has passed, there will be some snow again for the northwest in the weekend, but more importantly, cool air will flow into the Alps again. It is possible that after the weekend a 4th storm follows, but the models are still not sure. It would result in snow for the northern Alps so that after a week all parts of the Alps have seen snow, sun, wind and shifting temperatures. If the models are right, there will be high pressure and prolonged sun for the Alps after February 8th. But that's still far into the feature, so we need to have some patience.
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Stay stoked Morris