The quality and quantity of snow, on- and off-piste, above 1600m is still great as we enter the second half of March! Unfortunately, with rising temperatures over the next few days the snow will become more humidified and snow depth will start the decline on the lower slopes. Rain will also speed up the snow quality deterioration process especially in the western Alps where it could reach an altitude of 2400m. Still, there will be some fresh snow at altitude in the southern French and western Italian Alps, while any precipitation in the north-eastern Alps will be much lighter and patchier.
The snow cover will become more unstable due to rain and heavier fresh snow below 1500-2000 meters. Above that elevation, the amount of fresh snow can become critical because a fair amount of fresh snow is expected. The southern French Alps may welcome 130cm at high altitude over the next 5 days. It is only towards the end of the weekend that the temperature drops slightly, which can cause a stabilization of the deterioration process after the rise in temperature.
Although the quality of the snow will become more mixed over the next few days, it should be noted that snow depths remain very impressive across most of the Alps. For the very best snow quality over the next few days you need to aim for resorts with plenty of skiing at altitude, such as Val Thorens, Tignes, Saas Fee, Andermatt, Cervinia, Courmayeur, Obertauern and Obergurgl.
Forecast for this weekend en the first half oh next week:
Saturday 10th: Strong SW winds overnight, with Foehn and Lombard gusting up to 100 km/hr. A mild and cloudy day with possible sunshine in the afternoon. We could see snow showers above 2400 m (maybe rain at lower altitudes). The cloud will be thickest along the French/Italian border where we could see snowfall down to 1700/2000 m. Maximum daily temperatures: 14°C at 1000m, 6°C at 2000m.
Sunday 11th & Monday 12th: Sunday: Cloudy with a gusty S wind. Snow showers down to 1500m in the more S parts of Savoie and near the French/Italian border. Monday: Snow showers down to 1500 m. Wind dying down and turning W. Just slightly cooler with temperatures between 5 and 10°C at 1000m.
Tuesday 13th & Wednesday 14th: Sunny with cloudy spells. Around 0°C at 2000m.
At the moment some weather models indicate a return of colder whether by the end of next week. A low pressure system will settle and bring 20 to 40cm well into the valleys. This is good news for anyone planning to ski over Easter or beyond.