Significantly more changeable from next week


By Henri on 2 January 2023 · 11

A nice start of the day in Les Menuires
A nice start of the day in Les Menuires

First of all, best wishes to everyone for the new year! Let's hope for a snowy second part of the winter so that we quickly forget the past few weeks that included rain and extraordinarily high temperatures. As I mentioned before the weekend, we seem to be slowly returning to a more changeable weather pattern. Especially from next week on, things seem to get considerably more changeable in the northern and western Alps.

Northwest Alps suffer from lack of snow

The warm front on Friday was another major setback for the north-west Alps. Many lower-lying areas that were already struggling with a severe lack of snow received another substantial amount of precipitation in liquid form. Locally 10 to as much as 25mm of rain. Le Grand Massif in Haute Savoie, for example, has now even announced that it will have to close for a large part due to a lack of snow. These are things we really don't want to see in January. The webcam images in this corner of the Alps speak volumes. In the high mountains, although there is now a good base, conditions are not yet anything to write home about either.

Les Carroz is closed due to lack of snow, also here at 1800m altitude
Les Carroz is closed due to lack of snow, also here at 1800m altitude
Samoens also doesn't look good at all at the moment
Samoens also doesn't look good at all at the moment
Also in La Clusaz we see almost no snow in the lower part of the skiing area
Also in La Clusaz we see almost no snow in the lower part of the skiing area
For a closed snow cover, you have to go way up
For a closed snow cover, you have to go way up
Cold front arrives in the Northwest Alps tonight (wetter3.de, DWD)
Cold front arrives in the Northwest Alps tonight (wetter3.de, DWD)

Mainly dry this week

The expected precipitation for tonight and tomorrow will unfortunately not make a dent. The amounts have been scaled down some more over the weekend. The cold front has already weakened to the extent that it will produce little more than a cosmetic layer. In the French Northern Alps and western Switzerland, it could still reach 5 to 10 centimetres locally due to some accumulation, but for most areas in the Western and Northern Alps it will remain at a few centimetres with a snowline of around 1700 metres.

Temporary northwesterly flow with some snow, but it doesn't really give much (wetter3.de, DWD)
Temporary northwesterly flow with some snow, but it doesn't really give much (wetter3.de, DWD)

Thursday changeable on the north side

Tomorrow and Wednesday, the Alps will see increasing high-pressure influence again due to a high-pressure area over southern Europe. With a low-pressure area moving through Scandinavia towards Eastern Europe, the flow in the Alps temporarily turns to northwest. On Thursday, this will make it changeable with some showers, especially on the northern side. I do not expect much more than 5 centimetres. Although it cools slightly, the northwesterly flow is still quite mild, so the snowline will remain around 1,500 to 1,800 metres. The somewhat cooler air will soon be driven out again by a new warm front.

GFS Ensemble for Grenoble (wetterzentrale.de)
GFS Ensemble for Grenoble (wetterzentrale.de)

Next week some improvements?

Some improvement seems to be in sight from the second decade onwards. In fact, our forecast shows some red colours again from the beginning of next week. It shows the potential of this situation, but there are still several factors that could throw some spanner in the works. We have to deal with a strong westerly flow, with a succession of low-pressure systems with warm- and cold fronts providing more precipitation, but also a strongly fluctuating snowline. We also see this in the US model's ensemble for Grenoble as an example. That it will become considerably more changeable from the beginning of next week is now clear, but we also see some temperature fluctuations next to a big spread in the temperature and precipitation signal. Hopefully I will be able to go into a bit more detail about this changeable phase on Wednesday.

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Comments


  • juancarlosdominguezlemoine
    Beginner
    juancarlosdominguezlemoine op 2 January 2023 · 10:42
    I once said around 4 years ago that Switzerland would have to extend their ski areas to reach 4000+ meters if it was to maintain ski as a sport. Some trolls called me nuts, well I guess people will start to believe now. Bases at 2000 and tops at 4000 will be the new normal. By the way 14 degrees yesterday in Geneva. I saw people in jeans and t-shirts.
  • südtirolistdeutsch
    Tourist
    südtirolistdeutsch op 2 January 2023 · 14:12
    Henri, would it be possible to get a new wepowder pro feature that shows you the current snow depths? powerderguide seems to use the same map (down to the same colors for snow), and it would be awesome to have this integrated in your website,

    https://www.powderguide.com/wetter/snowgrid.html
  • Tschera001
    Tschera001 op 2 January 2023 · 19:08
    @südtirolistdeutsch for Austria I mostly use the data of lawis.at this website has the real data from measure stations and is not an interpolation
  • südtirolistdeutsch
    Tourist
    südtirolistdeutsch op 2 January 2023 · 19:51
    @südtirolistdeutsch for Austria I mostly use the data of lawis.at this website has the real data from measure stations and is not an interpolation Tschera001 op 2 Jan 2023 19:08

    Thank you for the suggestion, this is an awesome resource. However, I still think it would be a nice paid feature to have the interpolation, it's much easier to record large areas
  • Chester_Tartsnatcher
    Expert
    Chester_Tartsnatcher op 3 January 2023 · 05:19
    Will the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) continue to trend negative?
    EuroBBI2023 Rueras, CH March 26-31
  • joosth
    Advanced
    joosth op 3 January 2023 · 08:20
    Today already snowing in Val d’Isere 😊 And even found powder with a guide yesterday! So still snow to be found in Europe!
    Dive in nose deep
  • joosth
    Advanced
    joosth op 3 January 2023 · 08:21
    Today already snowing in Val d’Isere 😊 And even found powder with a guide yesterday! So still snow to be found in Europe!
    Dive in nose deep
  • SwissKB
    SwissKB op 3 January 2023 · 09:28
    NOA is positive. Trend appears to stay positive with hopes of a reversal

  • SwissKB
    SwissKB op 3 January 2023 · 09:28
    NOA is positive. Trend appears to stay positive with hopes of a reversal

  • Chester_Tartsnatcher
    Expert
    Chester_Tartsnatcher op 3 January 2023 · 16:45
    I had seen that NWS one where the 500mb is tending negative, but was wondering if there are other forecasts.
    EuroBBI2023 Rueras, CH March 26-31
  • Henri
    Beginner
    Henri op 4 January 2023 · 12:02
    @südtirolistdeutsch for the current snow depth the Snowgrid analysis of the ZAMG (also used in your link) is very useful http://www.zamg.ac.at/incaanalyse/. Like @Tschera001 said lawis.at, but also lawinen.report are very useful for station data as well. I'll forward your question to the technical team. It might be possible to incorporate these kind of maps in our upcoming update.
    *message edited by Henri op 4 Jan 2023 12:04 (3% bewerkt)

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