Freshies for the high alpine

Von meteomorris an 5 April 2016 · 1

Cold air and warm air are battling above the Alps this weekend. And where cold and warm collide air collide, precipitation is guaranteed. Great advantage of this weekend is that much more cold air is expected compared to last weekend. The big uncertainty is where the dividing line between warm and cold air will be from day to day, but I'm definitely more positive than last weekend. Easter is over and it's not that crowded anymore in the Alps. With a little bit of luck everything comes toghether this weekend and you can ride great snow on deserted faces. If you are traveling to the Alps the next couple of days and you want to support wePowder and this forecast, book your accommodation using this link. We receive a small percentage of every booking made through this link and this helps us a lot to improve wePowder and advice you even better. Thanks in advance! In this forecast:

  • It was warm and mild
  • It's snowing in the high alpine
  • Cold air is coming down from the north
  • Battlefield above the Alps
  • PowderAdvice

It was warm and mild

This subtitle doesn't only refer to last weekend, but pretty much to the complete winter in the Alps. Hasslinger Sepp was wrong with his winter forecast. Only March was cold with lots of fluffy powder. You really had to be flexible this winter and be at the right place at the right time. This winter was the second El Niño in a row. The temperatures worldwide were higher than normal and you can see that the ice coverage around the North Pole is less than normal. The good news is that we'll have to deal with a La Niña next season, so there's a chance that it will be colder than normal (or at least the temperatures won't be as high as this winter). Nevertheless, I had moments where I could ride deep and fresh powder in the Alps. It was a winter that asked a lot from us, but that also rewarded us as long as we were flexible. And that will be exactly the case the next couple of days.

It's snowing in the high alpine

It's snowing on the border between Italy and Switzerland at the moment. And locally it's snowing heavily. The snow is coming down especially at the border area between the Simplon and the Gotthard region where it snows above 2200-2400 meters.

Freshies arond the Simplon
Freshies arond the Simplon

Precipitation radar with snow around the Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc
Precipitation radar with snow around the Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc

But the snow line is at high altitude. Very high altitde. Even when colder air from the west will arrive in the Alps the snow line will stay at high altitude. Only in the night to Wednesday, the snow line will drop and fresh snow will come down in northwestern Switzerland and the French Northern Alps above 1500-2000 meters. Wednesday will be a powder day in the high alpine above 2500 meters. It is the prelude for a few days with colder air.

Cold air is coming down from the north

The southern jetstream is pushed to the east and as a result cold air can come down from the north. This will hit the northwest of the Alps at first, but will penetrate deep into the Alps on Thursday and Friday. It will snow on the north side of the Alps, but the south side of the Alps will have to deal with a northern Föhn.

Cold air is coming in on Thursday
Cold air is coming in on Thursday

Low temperatures on Saturdaynight/morning
Low temperatures on Saturdaynight/morning

It will keep on snowing between Thursday and Saturday, but high temperatures are lurking. The sun will come out on Saturday and the current will turn to the south, and this allows warm air to reach the Alps. You will notice this immediately on southern faces, but the riding will still be pretty good on north faces around the Monte Rosa. I expect more clouds further east. It will snow again on Sunday and Monday with bad visibility.

Battlefield above the Alps

But it is only Tuesday and things might change the next couple of days. Because the battlefield between warm and cold air is right above the Alps, the devil is in the details. And it would be a shame if you book now and that you'll find out that the conditions will be better somewhere else.


A new update will follow on Thursday. This just might be a good weekend to ride some powder, but wait with booking your accommodation.

Stay stoked, Morris


  • Powderberger
    Powderberger op 6 April 2016 · 15:13
    hey morris
    how much snow do you expect for zillertal (horberg/rastkogel/eggalm) and hintertuxer glacier? cheers


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