SNOW TO RETURN TO THE ALPS THIS WEEK
14th January 2020
Last modified on May 16th, 2021
It’s been dry & mild with no significant snow for weeks, but that’s about to change. In Canada it is so cold that Lake Louise closed. UPDATED
High pressure has meant wall-to-wall sunshine and mild temperatures for January in many parts of the Alps.
Is that all about to change?
It seems so.
And it’s coming just in time for the weekend.
For now, though, expect a lot more sunshine and just a few high clouds for the next few days.
“A cold front will reach the western Alps late on Friday, spreading further east overnight and on Saturday,” our alpine snow watcher Fraser Wilkin of Weather To Ski said on Tuesday.
“The intensity and distribution of snow generated by this front is still uncertain, though it does look as if the western Alps will be most favoured, with 15-30cm of snow possible above 1500m by Saturday in the French Alps (especially in the north), many parts of the Swiss Alps and some parts of the western Italian Alps.”
He says the snow will start between 1,200m and 1,500m on Friday before the rain/snow limit drops to below 1,000m.
By the weekend most of the snow will have moved to Austria but will be less heavy and more patchy.
Thanks to a good start to the season, the pistes – at least at high altitude – are holding up well, despite the lack of recent snow and relatively high temperatures.
The off-piste is a different matter entirely.
“Some people are finding some good stuff after a hike but if you look around you don’t see many people out there,” PlanetSKI reader David Morgan in Tignes told us on Tuesday.
“I was on a stretch of chalky snow today but am mostly sticking to pistes.
“There is a little snow in the forecast so hopefully the off piste will be refreshed.”
The best snow anywhere at the moment appears to be in Utah in the USA.
It’s fortunate for the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, as that’s where is he is.
Here’s his latest video snow report from the resort of Sundance filed on Monday 13th January.
Further north in Canada it is bitterly cold.
Lake Louise was unable to open as the temperatures dropped to -27c and there were fears for people’s safety.
The resort says it hopes to re-open on Thursday as the temperature is predicted to rise.
One of our readers, John R Jenkins, is there.
“We have plenty of snow out here in Lake Louise. With temperatures -27 they have not opened their lifts ?,” he told us on Tuesday.
Our social media editor, Kisia Cove, is in Bansko in the Pirin Mountains of south west Bulgaria where it’s been cold enough to top up the pistes with artificial snow.
“I’m loving Bansko,” Kisia said on Tuesday.
“Very cloudy conditions at the bottom and above the clouds is like being in heaven. Sunny and crispy cold.”
Look out for our new comprehensive snow report from Weather To Ski later this week for the forecast and conditions in the Alps and beyond.