September and October were too mild and too dry. Despite the few signs of winter, there is no closed snow cover in the Alps. But Snowvember is knocking on the door and the jet stream will turn west with lots of snow in the western Alps above the tree line the first week of November.
In recent days, some snow came down in the high alpine and it became as expected somewhat colder in Austria. This resulted in white valleys locally in Osttirol. This snow will not remain in the valleys for a long time because a southwestern current will bring in mild air in the coming hours.
The 'bank' on the Corvatsch (bottom photo) looks great. A bit of blown in snow, but perfect for a first powder turn. I'm getting ready. But we are still in the pre season phase and the big dumps are yet to come.
TIP: check out this article on how to follow the weather and make the most out of winter.
In recent weeks, the jet stream went around the Alps with a large arc so that storms were kept at bay. Although a Balearic depression caused a lot of rain at the foot of the Pyrenees and snow at high altitudes, it was mostly mild and often really Indian Summer weather in the Alps. This will come to an end with the start of November. The jet stream turns west and hits the western Alps.
This results in a southern Föhn in the Northern Alps first (say bye bye snow lower on the mountain), but it is already snowing heavily above the tree line in the western Alps. After the weekend, the jet stream will turn west and later next week the jet stream appears to find its way to the Alps, although the latter is not entirely sure.
The western Alps will get hammered first. It is certainly not cold, but where the snow line on Saturday is still around 2300 meters, it has already dropped to 1200-1600 meters in the western Alps on Monday. Let's hope for a good storm cycle that brings the base for more snowfall in the western Alps.
TIP: check our forecast maps fore more details
It is still difficult to estimate to what extent the northern and southern Alps are going to benefit from it. The most important models show snow in their forecasts, but everything depends on the exact course of the jet stream. It is not yet completely clear and differs from run to run. A more south-westerly current towards the Alps causes rising snow chances in the southern Alps, while with a more north-westerly current the northern Alps come into view.
For now applies: a lot of snow for the high alpine of the western Alps, but we are still in the pre season phase.
Stay stoked, Morris