The Alps are expecting what might euphemistically be called a Weather Event.
Check out tomorrow’s snow forecast. The snow’s not going to be widespread: but look at how heavy it’ll be.
Meanwhile, the cloud/precipitation map, below, for 9pm on the same day will give you an idea of how heavy the rain will be at lower elevations in the Italian Alps.
We’re really hoping the weather isn’t going to be as extreme as this, but if it is, there’s bound to be some flooding. Please bear it in mind if you’re travelling to any of the areas affected.
There’s also going a deep new blanket of snow in places, once the storm has cleared, with the high-altitude ski areas above Saas-Fee, Zermatt and Cervinia amongst the chief beneficiaries (although most glacier ski areas should see at least some snow).
Here’s how’s the Matterhorn is looking this morning, above Zermatt. Tomorrow, the local weather forecast is calling for gale-force gusts of wind at altitude, along with the snow.
Meanwhile, pictured below is Stubai glacier in Austria. Strong southerly winds will be a feature here over the next couple of days, along with light to moderate snowfall. As with all the Austrian glaciers, conditions are much improved here of late thanks to heavy snow the week before last.
Finally, here’s how it was looking this morning on the Grande Motte glacier, above Tignes. In France, too, strong southerly winds are expected over the next couple of days, followed by a drop in temperature, which may see the snow fall down to 1800m for a time. Milder conditions will return at the weekend.
Meanwhile, there’s plenty of the white stuff above Whistler
In Canada, Whistler’s season isn’t due to kick off until November 27. But there’s been a lot of precipitation about these last two weeks, and on the higher slopes that’s fallen as snow. Lots of snow. Check out the conditions on Blackcomb’s glacier on Saturday in the video below…
In Banff National Park, Lake Louise is due to open on November 7. Early-season conditions can’t yet match what we saw in 2012 and 2013, but both Mother Nature and the resort’s snow-making teams were busy last week.
In America, there’s been snow too – but not always in the right places
So far, the march towards winter in the American Rockies has been stop-start – thanks to an unusually mild autumn. On Saturday, the high-altitude ski area of Loveland got going for the season, but this was considerably later than normal, and both Copper and Keystone have had to delay their opening days because of the warmth.
However, there was snow in California on Friday night and Saturday morning, which has now moved inland. Below is some rather lovely video from Heavenly, just above South Lake Tahoe, showing the arrival of the storm.
And pictured below is Kirkwood nearby, which reports up to 25cm of snow at the top of its ski area.
Meanwhile, here’s a photo from Snowbird in Utah, taken yesterday…
Colorado snow guru Joel Gratz reckons the south-western corner of the state could see up to 25cm of new snow once the storm has played itself out. Further north and east, it’ll be more like 8-12cm. However, it’s worth noting that he finished his November 2 report saying, “We need a large-scale pattern change to start bringing consistent snow to Colorado, and I don’t see this happening within the next 2 weeks.”
|France: above Tignes, the Grande Motte glacier is open for skiing, weather permitting. Pistes lower down will be opening up as the month progresses, and on November 29, the links with neighbouring Val d’Isere should be opening too. Meanwhile, in the 3 Valleys, high-altitude Val Thorens is due to open on November 22.|
|Switzerland: weather permitting, four glaciers are currently open for skiing in Switzerland – above Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Engelberg and Les Diablerets. However, above Zermatt and Saas-Fee we don’t expect too much skiing tomorrow, thanks to the stormy weather in the forecast.|
|Austria: the autumn glacier-skiing season in Austria got a much-needed boost at a couple of weeks back from a storm which dropped 150cm of snow in places. You can currently ski on the Hintertux, Stubai, Molltal, Pitztal, Kaunertal, Rettenbach and Kitzsteinhorn glaciers. On the Hintertux glacier, 40km of pistes are now open, and the snow is up to 185cm deep.|
|Italy: at the time of writing, the western end of the Italian Alps is bracing itself for a couple of days of wild weather. At the end of it, there should be a lot more snow at the top of the lift system in Cervinia, which is now open for the winter. Meanwhile, above Val Senales in the South Tyrol, seven pistes are currently open for skiing on the glacier.|
|Andorra: Andorra’s ski resorts are currently closed.|
|Western USA: see our main report. In Colorado, both Arapahoe Basin and Loveland are open for the season. Keystone and Copper both had to postpone their planned opening days at the weekend, and will probably get going around November 8.|
|Western Canada: in western Canada, Whistler has had heavy snow at altitude. The resort is due to open on November 27. In Banff National Park, Lake Louise is due to open on November 7, and Sunshine Village on November 14. However, conditions aren’t as snowy yet as they were in 2012 and 2013.|