Finally a storm brings some snow to the Alps, but rarely a storm has kept me so busy. It is only a small storm and that after almost 3 weeks of drought. And that is precisely where the problem lies. The snow cover is old and often hard. The 5-20 cm that most of the regions will get won't be enough, but there are regions that might pick up 30 to 50 cm. And you want to be in those places to make sure not to feel the old layer. The question is: Where to go? In this article:
A cold front enters the Alps today from the west. There is not much power behind it, which means that most snow is expected in the pre-Alps and some flurries deeper into the Alps. You may expect on average 5-20 cm but there are regions that might pick up 30 to 50 cm. All models reasonably agree on the regions where the most snow will fall. They point on:
But the sweet spots differ per model. The most optimistic is the Arpege model from Meteo France. Let's hope that in these dark times their forecast will be right. But be aware that wind that will be more strong enough to create some stormslabs, especially above the tree line. And it gets really cold.
In the best case there will fall 20-40 cm of fresh snow, but we are dealing with a cold on old situation. The nwe cold snow falls on an old, often hard snow layer. You then need at least 25 to 40 cm of fresh snow to mkae sure you won't touch the old snow layer. And it cannot be said with certainty where you will find the largest quantities of fresh. It is now casting and last minute decision making to ride the deepest powder this weekend.
With fresh snow and the wind picking up a warning is in place:
In case of new snow, take a rapidly rising avalanche danger into account. Especially storm slabs will be a problem. To prepare yourself it might be a good idea to refresh your knowledge with our Mountain Academy.
biggest chance of (just) enough snow in the following regions:
Normally I would not launch a powder alerts with these amounts, but it is so dramatic at the moment that we have to use and enjoy every flake to hold on to our belief in a happy ending. Don't expect uber-deep powder, but celebrate every spray as if it were your last.
The long term is very uncertain at the moment. Monday high pressure will shut off the supply of storms from the west and north so that the sun returns. Only in the Piedmont there is still some little chance of a Retour d'est but the rest of the Alps are getting dry and sunny again. And according to the latest calculations, that remains the case throughout the week. There is some noise in the models for he end of next week (January 24), but this is too unclear and uncertain. In short, snow dancing is required, otherwise we are heading for one of the driest January months in years.
Last but not least, I want to ask you to read and where possible support Erik Bulckens' dream. Erik Bulckens is a cinematographer, documentary maker and powder fanatic. Thanks to wePowder, he has been scoring powder for years. His dream is to make a movie documentary about the people behind wePowder. For that, Erik needs your help. You can read all about it here: read here. Do you help Erik make his dream come true? Thank you very much for your help!
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