It is an interesting week, with an even more intense weekend. Those who followed my instructions from earlier this week have been riding deep powder every day. PA #10 and PA #11 brought us nice amounts of snow. First of all for the northwest of the Alps and later specifically for the French northern Alps. But now we are in a transition to a new storm. And it will become intense and hectic.
A storm depression that's getting stronger and stronger with the name Pirmin will dominate the Alps in the next 72 hours. This depression continues in the direction of the Mediterranean via France during the weekend. And that will result in interesting weather for the French Alps.
PA #12 is a difficult alert. Snow comes from all directions, the wind is coming from all directions, from time to time even strong to very strong and the temperature goes up and down. This tricky context makes one thing certain: it will be a tricky weekend as far as the avalanche danger is concerned.
A lot of wind, even though the sun shines, ensures that the conditions change in no time. The avalanche forecasts in the north are already warning for storm slabs and that will only get worse in the coming days. Therefore, check your local avalanche forecast every day and adapt your plans to it. Your local avalanche forecast can be found on every village page, but also every ski area page on wePowder (in the snow safety block) so you can be sure that you have the local avalanche forecast, but you can also visit this site).
What makes the situation even more complicated is that fresh snow falls down on these fresh wind slabs in the northwest and north of the Alps from the weekend .
The snow on the southern side of the Alps comes down in large quantities and often it falls on top of an old snow cover that can serve as an ideal sliding layer. The avalanche danger will therefore increase rapidly. In addition, the snow cover between the trees is still rather thin in a lot of places. Pay attention to loose branches and sharks! Don't worry, you can definitely ride powder on Saturday and Sunday, but keep these hazards in mind and adapt your plans to them!
The advice where to ride the next couple of days looks like this:
It is mild in the east of the Alps. It snows heavily with a southern current in the main alpine ridge of Austria and the areas south of it, especially on the Italian side it can snow a lot. The snow line is very low because of the cold air in the valleys, but the supplied air is mild and the snow line will rise in the course of the day to 900 to 1700 meters. In short, Föhn in the north of Austria and some rain or snow at high altitude. On the south side a lot of snow, but a rising snow line. Not ideal.
3. Sunday The current turns to the north due the low pressure area which is moving to the east. It gets colder fast and the warm humid air that is still to the north of the Alps is getting stuck between the Alps and the incoming cold air. The result is a rapidly dropping snow line and fresh snow for the north of the Alps. Timing is still a thing. In short:
It's a difficult weekend. If you don't want to drive too much, go for the areas around the Ecrins. The French holidays have not yet started and so it is still fairly quiet.
TIP, also read: Peak season, tips to ride powder
A back of high pressure temporarily takes over after the weekend. It becomes sunny, but also milder. Dry air and sun is no problem for the snow cover. There will be a change in the air again in the middle of next week.
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Stay stoked, Morris