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HEAVY SNOW IN THE ALPS - James Cove, PlanetSKI Editor
Thursday November 2, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

There's significant snow across many parts of the Alps this weekend & it's looking good for North America too. Hello winter, we've been expecting you! UPDATED

Winter is here.  

Snow has begun falling out in the Alps and there should be some heavy falls through to Monday.

In places 1m of snow is predicted but it is likely to average around 50cm.

The bulk of the snow will start falling later on Sunday and we will be updating this report across the next few days so do check back for the latest. 

Purple is good!

It's coming...It's coming...

So, which resorts are going to be the lucky ones? 

Here are just some resorts to keep an eye on:
  •  St Moritz and Arosa in Switzerland. 
  • Ischgl, Soelden, Obergurgl in Austria  
  • Livigno, Alta Badia and Cortina in Italy  
France will miss out on the big falls, but some decent snow is expected. 

It comes as more ski resorts opens this weekend - this time it is Laax in Switzerland that offers its glacier area to skiers and snowboardiers from Saturday 4th November. 

Davos has also opened part of its ski area.

Laax, Switzerland Laax, Switzerland

"This change in the weather will start with fronts moving in from the north-west late on Saturday," said the alpine weather expert, Fraser Wilkin from ahead of the expected storm.

"However, the big player will be the formation of a so-called  'Genoan Low' on Sunday, caused by cold polar maritime flowing over the warm Mediterranean sea.

"This will send moisture-laden air back up towards the southern Alps where it will snow intensely later in the weekend." 

Fraser provides a weekly snow report for PlanetSKI during the season.  

And what is a  'Genoan Low'? See the end of the article for a description.

There have already been some decent falls in the Alps this autumn. 
The key thing now is for it to remain cold once the snow falls.  

The season is still a way off for most resorts so the impact of the predicted snow on the season ahead is hard to gauge. 

It will make a difference to the glacier resorts that are currently open and will help with the formation of a base at altitude.  

Kitzteinhorn, AustriaKitzsteinhorn, Austria

However we shouldn't get too excited.   

There have been similar November falls in the past few years and we have seen three poor Christmas/New Year periods in a row.  

But here at PlanetSKI we are getting excited. Very excited.  

And we look forward to seeing this area covered in snow at the weekend as the snow canons become redundant.

Obergurgl, AustriaObergurgl, Austria


And it is looking good across the Pond too in the USA and Canada. 

On Friday 3rd November, the first resort in Canada opened as Norquay near Banff fired up its lifts as we have reported here:
Norquay, BanffNorquay, Banff

Norquay, BanffNorquay, Banff

A so-called 'Alberta Clipper' weather system has brought around 20cm to resorts in British Columbia and Alberta in Canada.

And then it heads east to the Great Lakes.

Alberta ClipperAlberta Clipper

But what is an 'Alberta Clipper"?

See a definition at the end of this article.

Conditions are shaping up to be excellent for Opening Day at Lake Louise and Sunshine Village on November 10th.

PlanetSKI will be in Sunshine Village for its opening and will bring you a full report.   

Latest snow in Sunshine VillageLatest snow in Sunshine Village


There have been similar amounts in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.   

Later in November PlanetSKI will be in Mammoth Mountain in California so look out for our reports from November 20th.    

And, as promised, an 'Alberta Clipper' is a fast moving low pressure area which generally affects the central provinces of Canada and parts of the upper mid-west in the USA.

It sees a sudden temperature drop and sharp winds. 

'Alberta Clippers' take their name from the province of Alberta the province where they descend, and from clipper ships of the 19th century, one of the fastest ships of that time.

And a 'Genoan Low'?

It is a cyclone that forms or intensifies from a pre-existing cyclone to the south of the Alps over the Gulf of Genoa, Ligurian Sea, Po Valley and northern Adriatic.

It brings decent amounts of snow to the Alps.

So, now you know.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news


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