WILD WEATHER IN THE ALPS
20th November 2016
It could dump up to 2m of snow but it will be very localised. Elsewhere we’re sad to say the temperatures have warmed up and it’s raining. UPDATED
In the Alps the weather systems bring good news and bad news.
Good news for the area that is likely to get the snow, but bad news for many other areas as there is a foehn wind, the temperatures have warmed up and heavy rain is falling in places.
Much low level snow will simply melt or be washed away.
But first the good news and we turn, as always, to the alpine weather expert, Fraser Wilkin, from weathertoski.co.uk who assess the impact of one of the new weather systems hitting the central Alps.
“This will bring some extreme rainfall and snowfall totals to some central southern and south-western parts of the Alps over the next few days…… The heaviest snow will fall close to the Swiss-Italian border between Zermatt, Cervinia and the Italian lakes, including ski resorts such as Saas-Fee, the Monte Rosa region and Macugnaga,” said Fraser on Monday.
“At altitude, however, there will be some extreme quantities of snow – probably in excess of 2m above 2500m in places by the end of the week,” he added.
See here for the daily updates from weathertoski if you want to keep across developments.
And see here for our report on conditions in the USA as a small amount of snow finally falls in time for Thanksgiving.
The storm in the Alps is already hitting with extremly high winds.
The gondola lift in Hintertux in the Tirol in Austria had to be closed on Monday afternoon as the cabins were battered by the wind.
However the warm temperatures and rain have made an impact.
Here is Zell am See by the lake with the glacier resort of Kaprun in the distance earlier in the month as the snow fell.
And here it is today, Tuesday 22nd November.
But in better news below is an image of the Rothorn restaurant in Zermatt – we can expect to see the the roof laden with snow by the weekend.
This is what it was like on the slopes of Zermatt on Sunday ahead of the big storm.
PlanetSKI reader, Rob Stewart, was in the resort.
“Up on the glacier today in Zermatt the high winds that kept the resort closed yesterday have calmed a bit and the Klein Matterhorn area is open, with some high winds at the top and slightly overcast conditions,” said Rob.
“The runs are in good condition and I’m off piste on the glacier with a guide and it is wind blown powder, pretty compacted but skiable and fun. The sun is started to break through now.”
“It’s busy with groups, clubs and there’s ski instructor training courses starting tomorrow so plenty of BASI members on the mountain today,” added Rob.
The last few days have seen a number of resorts in the Alps opening some areas including Val Thorens in France, Cortina in Italy, Wengen in Switzerland and the Austrian resort of Obergurgl in the Tirol.
One of our regular readers, Francesca Pangli from Powder N Shine, was in Val Thorens on Saturday for its first day of the season.
“Saturday conditions in Val Thorens were pretty much the best piste conditions you can get! Cold snow, fresh powder, and sunny nearly the whole day, bar one hour of fog! It was epic!” said Francesca.
And over in North America things are looking slightly better too.
Here’s our reporter in Sunshine Village near Banff in Canada.
He was one of the lucky ones dropping into Delirium Dive as it opened.
See here for our report that we updated over the weekend.
So, how are we looking as the winter approaches after all the snow?
“We have a good base at altitude across many resorts in the Alps but the change in the weather is unwelcome in many areas. Conditions remain good but they are not exceptional anymore, however considering it is the second half of November there is still much to play for ahead of the majority of resorts opening in December. Overall I’m happy!” said the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove.
All in all and considering what we might have been writing and posting here at PlanetSKI we are delighted with how things are shaping up.
Oh, and we’ll let you know if the 2m of snow materialises.
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.
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