Wax up! February was too warm and too dry, but the end of the mild weather is in sight. March is around the corner. We're lucky that it was snowing that much in January, otherwise it would have been a difficult winter. The result of a mild start and a lot of snow is that we have to deal with a lot of glide snow avalanches, especially in the areas where they had a lot of snow. And that will remain the rest of the winter.
Back to the weather for the coming period. A first storm will reach the northwest and north of the Alps on Friday. It is the first crack in the high-pressure fortress that has determined the weather in the Alps since mid-February. Although the weekend is milder again, high pressure does not return. The jet stream is getting on fire from Monday and we can get ready for some old-fashioned storm violence from the west. Go wax your powder skis and snowboards. Time for some fresh wax and let's start the countdown.
After two to three weeks of excellent touring, it is now back to storm chasing again, waiting for some sun and maybe even some good old tree runs later next week. It's still only the beginning of March, winter is certainly not at its end. It might have felt like this the last couple of days and perhaps you thought winter was over, but rest assured: this winter will bring more powder days.
Thursday is still very sunny and mild, but the increasing wind in the high alpine and the higher clouds from the west later in the day are indicators that the weather is about to change. A storm will reach Europe via England and primarily provides snow in the northwest and later in the north of the Alps. Initially, the snow line is still high and the snow will only fall around 1900 meters. It drops down the 1400 meters later to end around 1100 meters in the northwest and 700 meters in the northeast of the Alps Saturday night. Unfortunately, most of the precipitation has already fallen at the moment the drop in temperature starts.
Saturday starts fresh, but in the course of Saturday it gets warm again fast and especially Sunday is too warm again for the time of the year. The freezing level goes back to 2000 meters during the weekend. Below you'll find the snow forecast until Saturday morning.
With the fresh snow (20-40, locally 50 cm) above 1700 meters, it is ON on Saturday in:
Take into account that the new snow falls on top of an old snow layer and that means bad bonding in the first place. In addition, there is also some wind, the temperature rises again in the course of the Saturday and after weeks of drought there is certainly a bit of powder panic. In short, check your local avalanche forecast and ride conservatively.
It will all be much better later next week. The jet stream first comes up above and later even south of the Alps after a mild weekend. It gets colder, the storms are getting more intense and from Monday or even better from Tuesday there will be a real PowderAlert.
Tuesday might become a beautiful day in the northwest of the Alps. More and more storms seems to be focussed on the Alps the days after.
The exact pattern is not clear yet, but the jet stream has found its way back to the Alps. More details tomorrow, but you can start your chase on Saturday, have some leftovers on Sunday and then prepare yourself for a new alert.
Buy February, welcome March!
Stay stoked, Morris