Lots of fresh snow, stormy second part of the week


By Henri on 10 January 2023 · 8

Gorgeous morning with lots of fresh snow in Anzère (roundshot.com)
Gorgeous morning with lots of fresh snow in Anzère (roundshot.com)

Large parts of the Alps awoke to a winter wonderland this morning. As expected, most fell in the French northern Alps and western Switzerland. Accumulations were serious with up to a metre of snow in recent days higher up. Further east, the amounts do decrease rapidly, but still, up to around 40 centimetres fell in the Arlberg. Behind it, in the shadow of the north-western stau, we see smaller snow accumulations. But here, too, we see a large-scale freshening of some 20 to locally 30 centimetres. A nice layer of snow also fell in the southern Alps from Lombardy to the east. Nassfeld, for instance, is also reporting 40 centimetres of fresh. In the southern Dolomites and also further to the east, we do see that by now the strong northföhn has made a big impact.

Also lots of snow in Kanin, but on the Slovenian side the lifts are still closed
Also lots of snow in Kanin, but on the Slovenian side the lifts are still closed
Paganella
Paganella
Plenty of snow in the Rhone Valley (photo by Susje)
Plenty of snow in the Rhone Valley (photo by Susje)
Snow accumulations of the last 48 hours in Switzerland (slf.ch)
Snow accumulations of the last 48 hours in Switzerland (slf.ch)

Avalanche danger

Avalanche danger is seriously high at the moment. SLF reports for much of Valais:

Large quantities of fresh snow and the wind-drifted snow are lying on top of a weakly bonded old snowpack. Natural avalanches are possible. Avalanches can release the entire snowpack. In particular from starting zones at higher altitudes very large avalanches, capable of reaching intermediate altitudes, must be expected in isolated cases. The conditions are critical for snow sport activities outside marked and open pistes. Even single winter sport participants can release avalanches easily.

Very high avalanche danger where the snow accumulations were the largest (slf.ch)
Very high avalanche danger where the snow accumulations were the largest (slf.ch)

More snow on the way

It will not stay dry in the coming days either. A succession of fronts will regularly bring some snow. Tonight we will see rising temperatures due to a tail of the passing warm front. Not much snow will fall, at most a few centimetres in the northernmost areas, but the snowline will temporarily rise to around 1,500 - 1,800 metres. Tomorrow, a cold front will follow in the afternoon, with the snowline dropping again to around 1,200 metres during the snowfall. In the north-western Alps, this will yield around 10 to 20 centimetres of snow.

Some snow follows again on Thursday with a somewhat higher snowline, but the models still differ quite a bit. The northernmost areas should expect several centimetres of snow. Below 1500 metres, most of it will fall as rain. On Friday, another cold front follows with about 10 centimetres of snow with a falling snowline to around 1000 - 1200 metres, possibly even lower in Austria.

Stormy from Thursday onwards

From Thursday, we face a strong westerly flow that rushes past on the northern side of the Alps. Higher up it will get really stormy which will definitely have an impact on the higher lifts. Not only on Thursday, but also in the following days. The northernmost areas are the most exposed to the highest wind speeds. Going further south, the wind already decreases a bit, but even here it is still strong.

Keypoints:

  • Most snow has fallen in the north-west Alps (Mont-Blanc massif & Wallis).
  • Higher treeruns are doable, lower areas have often still little snow and are too warm.
  • Very changeable weather in the coming days with a fluctuating snowline.
  • More snow for the north-west and north side (centre of gravity more towards Arlberg).
  • Watch out for avalanche danger! Check the avalanche bulletins! Not just the numbers, but all the details. Also later this week, because:
  • Higher up, wind is going to play a big role especially from Thursday onwards, especially on the northern edge of the Alps (French Northern Alps to Austria). Wind-drifted snow is going to be a (bigger) problem.
  • Keep an eye out for (some) closed lifts in the ski resorts from Thursday onwards.

Read also:

Comments


  • sanderwouters
    sanderwouters op 11 January 2023 · 09:27
    Gisteren in Kappl was het aan! Meer dan een halve meter sneeuw, zonnetje kwam kijken. De condities waren NIET NORMAAL...
  • juancarlosdominguezlemoine
    Beginner
    juancarlosdominguezlemoine op 11 January 2023 · 18:50
    GFS looks great from 16. Book your ski holiday from last days of January. Beat snow of the season and before the crowds from the school holidays
  • LiBTech1978
    Advanced
    LiBTech1978 op 12 January 2023 · 07:43
    Eventually winter in mountains, wonder how long it will last until new warm front
  • juancarlosdominguezlemoine
    Beginner
    juancarlosdominguezlemoine op 12 January 2023 · 12:59
    Weather models are extremely good for the second half of January. ski holiday booked from end of January, and ready to catch some PAs in between. Finally
  • LiBTech1978
    Advanced
    LiBTech1978 op 12 January 2023 · 13:57
    Weather models are extremely good for the second half of January. ski holiday booked from end of January, and ready to catch some PAs in between. Finallyjuancarlosdominguezlemoine op 12 Jan 2023 12:59

    Wonder what will be second half of the February
  • LaurensH88
    Advanced
    LaurensH88 op 13 January 2023 · 10:48
    Iemand een idee hoe de condities momenteel in St. Anton zijn en zullen zijn voor dit weekend?
  • LaurensH88
    Advanced
    LaurensH88 op 13 January 2023 · 10:48
    Iemand een idee hoe de condities momenteel in St. Anton zijn en zullen zijn voor dit weekend?
  • jensmeindertsma
    Tourist
    jensmeindertsma op 13 January 2023 · 15:28
    Heading to Ischgl last week of January, looking pretty good right now!

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