PA #7: Huge storm on its way!

Par meteomorris sur 3 février 2017 · 4

The first snow has fallen in the southern French Alps, it still snowing in the south of Switzerland and a new front is on its way. PowderAlert # 7 has begun and it will continue to snow until Tuesday. Initially it will snow in the south to southwest of the Alps, later it will also start snowing in the west and northwest and of the Alps and eventually it will even snow in Austria. And there might be a return d'est kicking in in the middle of next week. It's not freezing cold anymore, but the fresh snow is back. And if I could choose between those two, well... In this forecast:

  • Snow for the south, southwest and west of the Alps
  • Another storm coming in on Sunday
  • Where to go?
  • Discount on Mountain Academy

4 storms on the maps
4 storms on the maps

Snow for the south, southwest and west of the Alps

No less than four storms on the map and almost no high pressure. Western Europe is dealing with an old-fashioned storm cycle. The jet stream is on fire and sends another set of storms to the Alps the next 96 hours. The first snow came down last night and it's white again in the French Southern Alps and on the south side of Switzerland. Between 5-25 cm of fresh snow came down, but locally they got over 40 cm of snow.

It's still snowing right now on the south side of Switzerland and it will keep on snowing till the end of the day. At the same time there's a new front approaching (part of storm Kurt) from the west, bringing fresh snow again to the French Alps, western Valais and on the south side of the main alpine ridge. This front will move to the north around midnight and a second, more powerful front (part of storm Leiv) will kick in. This storm will bring more snow to the French Alps on Saturday morning and will move east (via western Wallis and the south side of the Alps). I expect the following amounts of snow in the western Alps until Saturday night:

Snow for the western Alps
Snow for the western Alps

There's a lot of red and orange on the maps. That means 20-40 cm, locally 50 cm of fresh snow in the next 36 hours. But there will also be a lot of wind. You can expect a strong wind in the main alpine ridge today and on Saturday. It will get stronger on Saturday and you can expect some strong winds in large parts of the western Alps by the end of the day.

Another storm coming in on Sunday

There's a new storm arriving in France on Sunday. This storm won't move to the north, but is heading straight towards the Gulf of Genoa. And that's not going without a fight. It will snow heavily in the western and southern Alps. You can expect another 30-60 cm of fresh snow between Saturday night and Monday morning. But... the wind will get even stronger on Sunday, so you'd better don't ride powder in the high alpine. I'd prefer the trees.

The snowfall will be pretty intense until Monday. If you want to hit the roads on Sunday evening, you'd better expect snow on the roads. It might start snowing in the north of Austria and in the Piedmont on Monday, but that all depends on the exact direction of Sunday's storm.

There's a PowderAlert for:

From Sunday

Don't forget to have fun!! You can book your accommodation here.

Where to go?

Your best bet will be the resorts in the French southern Alps or the resorts south of the Gotthard-Piz Buin on Saturday. The choice you make could be primarily motivated by the travel distance, because you can find great snow in both regions. The French southern Alps have a better base, but the other regions will get more snow. When you also want to add Sunday to your trip, I would go to a resort south of the French Ecrins, La Thuile or Courmayeur, because they'll get some more fresh snow in the night from Saturday to Sunday. You could also go to the resorts in the French northern Alps from Sunday. The snow line will be pretty high at first, but it will drop during the day. You can find powder in all the regions above on Monday. My PowderAdvice for Saturday till Monday:

French southern Alps (Click on the resorts to book accommodation)
Reasonable to good base between the trees.

Southern Alps (Click on the resorts to book accommodation)
Thin to reasonable base between the trees.

You can ride powder in all of the regions above from Sunday. Avoid the highest peaks and pick a resort where you can ride in the trees.

The combination of new snow, rising temperatures and the problems in the current snow cover resulted in a rising avalanche danger. Keep asking yourself the next questions:

  • Do you have the right knowledge?
  • Do you (and the other riders in your group) have the gear (avalanche beacon, shovel and probe)?
  • Have you read the local avalanche forecast?
  • Do you know which parts of the mountain you have to avoid that particular day to minimize the risk?

Discount on Mountain Academy

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Next update on Sunday.

Stay stoked. Morris


  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 3 février 2017 · 19:29
    Live from the Hautes Alps, France...

    May the powder be with you.
  • Storpotatisen
    Storpotatisen op 3 février 2017 · 19:53
    Ohh man.
    Great treeskiing!
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 4 février 2017 · 15:49
    Live from the Hautes Alps

    Due to gale winds a lot of lifts are closed right now!
    May the powder be with you.
  • SweetSnowsports
    SweetSnowsports op 4 février 2017 · 16:56

    Here in les Trois Valleé ski sera we've had around 40cm of snow in the last couple of days, but it's also been quite windy, with big fluctuations in temperature. I skied fresh powder to the boot-top this morning, which was a welcomed change from the last fortnight. Apparently we can expect lots more snow in the next few days and even some on the horizon for next weekend. Fingers crossed! If you need any live snow/weather information don't hesitate to get in touch. Mark


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