20th January Snow Report

Yesterday was T-shirt weather in the French mountains. 17C at 1600 m with the zero isotherm (freezing line) around 3400m however it is much cooler today with some light rain and snow above 1500 meters. Conditions are crusty/icy on north facing slopes with spring snow on east to south-west slopes although snow will remain hard today with the lack of sun. There has been some wet snow avalanche activity and slabs on east facing slopes at altitude and there are lots of weak layers on north sector slopes… expect avalanche activity to increase from Tuesday with the fresh snow.

Posted by davidof on Sunday, 21 January, 2007 at 12:03 PM

There was some light snow on Sunday about 2000m but more extensive snow has set in today with snow settling at 400 m in the central French Alps with about 10cm at 1000m altitude and 20cm at glacier level (2500-3000m).

This won’t be enough to open runs between 1000m-1500m but may begin to form the start of a base at mid-mountain altitudes if the cold persists. Heavier snowfall is expected tomorrow (Wednesday) with a return to dry, sunny weather later in the week.

There is little wind at the moment so the fresh snow will not be moved around much. South sector slopes are pretty well stabilized below 2700m but there are ice crusts (bonding) and weak layers above 2400m on north sector slopes so the fresh snow will form some new, probably soft slabs at high altitudes which will be liable to triggering by a single skier or boarder.

Posted by davidof on  Tuesday, 23 January, 2007  at 04:22 PM
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