|Since yesterday, Thursday 18 May, and today, Friday 19, a precipitation affected the whole region with intense and widespread stormy rainfall and snow, falling temperatures and moderate/strong winds from South, rotating by WNW and weakening in the second part of the day.|
Available data at 2:30 pm today.
The rain/snow limit is at 2200-2500 m, but it is expected to drop, at the end of the episode, to 1800 m, even at 1600 m in the northwestern areas.
The amounts of fresh snow currently recorded are:
- between 2300 m and 2500 m, 5-15 cm in the D (Gran San Bernardo, Mont Blanc, La Thuile) and C areas (Gran Paradiso valleys);
- between 2500 m and 2800 m, 20-30 cm (Valdigne).
At high altitude the wind, moderate/strong from S during the snowfall, has found a fair amount of loose snow and it is therefore possible that new wind slabs have been formed.
The avalanche problems could be:
- wet snow. In the coming days sunny and warm weather. The new snow and the snowpack will be affected by the temperature rise and the strong sunshine: it is possible a rise in instability, especially in the warmer hours of the day, with possible wet snow avalanches from very steep slopes, especially close to rocks even at high altitude. The snow will become heavy, with quick settlement and hardening on the sunny slopes.
wind-drifted snow. Above 3000-3200 m windloads are present, rapidly settling, and they are located in gullies and channels, but mainly close to ridges and passes. On the steep slopes, with the passage of a single skier/hiker, it is possible to trigger small or medium slab avalanches, especially on slope changes.
The ski mountaineering season continues at high altitude although we are in mid-May. Even if many huts have closed, there are good snow conditions on many itineraries. In mid-mountain the snow is scarce or absent, while the valley tops of the Gran Paradiso and Valgrisenche are well covered with snow and it is possible to put on the skis above 2200-2400 m.
The next report will be issued depending on the snow and weather conditions evolution.