After a sunny Thursday follows a snowy and windy Friday. Massive accumulations are expected in the French Alps and western Switzerland. The result is that the avalanche hazard goes up to HIGH. On Saturday, milder air flows from the west into the Alps, followed by a week in which southern winds dominate. In this article:
Until Thursday morning, 10-30 centimeters of powder fell in the northwestern Alps. The sun came through with cool temperatures. A great day to ride some powder. Because the lifts are not yet running everywhere, getting up the groomed slopes on a split board or a set of touring skis was easy with a lovely descent in powder as a reward. Arno earned his turns at le Grand Massif.
But that beautiful Thursday quickly came to an end. A complex system full of active storms is moving towards the Alps. As a result this sends first of all very cold and as of Saturday morning mild air into the Alps. Both the cold and warm fronts push a lot, and I mean a lot of snow to the northwest. With a snowline dropping on Friday towards valley level and going up rapidly towards 1400 or even 1800 meters in the west on Saturday the conditions will be critical. Especially on Saturday.
In detail, it looks something like this:
Rapidly falling temperatures, huge amounts of snow that and strong wind above the tree line causes the avalanche danger to rise quickly. The best powder is to be found in those areas where there are 1. trees and 2. there is enough base between the trees. Friday is a treerun day in the western Alps and it could be very deep.
The milder weather moving in will have consequences for the stability of the snow cover. Lots of fresh snow on Friday, lots of wind and rising temperatures. That will caise produce avalanches. Be aware that the avalanche hazard in large parts of the western Alps will go up to HIGH on Friday and Saturday. Therefore, read your local avalanche message carefully and adjust your plans accordingly.
Storm, sometimes sun, lots of snow and rising temperatures at the end. Visibility and avalanche danger are serious issues, but you can still score som really nice powder in the coming days:
Next week will be pretty mild in the Northern Alps. The upper airflow turns south with a strong föhn as a result for the Northern Alps. On the north side it is mild with temperatures that can go up towards +10 degrees celcius at 1500 meters. Just right after they had a dusting og snow. It might be clear that this will have consequences for the snowpack at lower elevations. The satelilte image below shows that the Alps are already pretty white, but that the lower regions of Tyrol, the Salzburgerland and Styria in particular are still in need of some extra snow.
But with a week with a strong southern Föhn in the forecast means that this snow cover becomes even thinner. Until December 21st no model calculates snow for this part of the Alps. Only just before Christmas there might be some snow in the forecast. No, the coming week is all about the Southern Alps.
Föhn in the North often means snow for the South. The strong Southern airflow ensures that clouds will be pushed on the south side of the Alps. Therefor during the upcoming week it will snow regularly over 1500-2000 meters. Especially the areas south of the Gotthard and in the Piedmont are going to see a lot of snow.
The ultimate freeride guide has just been rleased: wePowder The Alps . More than 120+ destinations , 408 pages thick and almost 2 kilos heavy. In recent days, a huge team has helped us (thanks to everyone who helped us!) to pack the books and prepare the shipments. The first books have already been delivered and more and more people will receive their book in the coming days.
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Here we go. Our new Guide book ‘the Alps’ is ready and in the shipping process. The first guide books have already been delivered. There is still some stock left. Order yours now at https://wepowder.com/book #wepowder #wepowderguide #powderdays #powderalert #powderalarm #snowsurf #snowboarding #skiing
The pre-order phase has come to an end but the book can still be ordered and I can assure you that the book is worth every penny/euro etc. More info about this book can be found here, you can order directly here.
Stay stoked Morris