PowderAlert#14: let's go south!

Von meteomorris an 5 Februar 2018 · 13

Storm Lotti brought a lot of snow to the Alps last week. I briefly explained how Lotti made her way into the Alps and where she brought the most snow in Friday's video forecast. It's 96 hours later and Lotti has left the Alps and brought a lot of powder. Not that it will end the steady stream of storm depressions. A new storm has already arrived in the Alps and it is snowing already in the southern Piedmont. The air above the Mediterranean Sea will remain unstable for the next three days and PowderAlert #14 is a fact. In this forecast:

  • A lot of snow in the southeast last weekend
  • Great conditions in the high alpine
  • Powder starts with the right knowledge
  • New storm on the maps with snow for the southern Alps
  • PowderAlert # 14: tips and regions
  • Long term: cold with a mix of sun and clouds

A lot of snow in the southeast last weekend

The images above were shot by Camilla Andersen in Nassfeld. You can also find them yourself by searching on Instagram on #wepowder. The photos show how good the conditions were last weekend. It was deep and the sun came out every now and then. Most of the powder close to the marked slopes have been tracked and it's time to start searching for powder. If you're willing to hike and have the right knowledge, you can definitely find some good snow. That's not only the case for the southeast of the Alps, but for other regions as well. Those who are willing to hike a little bit will still score.

Great conditions in the high alpine

You could have read an overview of the avalanche danger in the Alps last Thursday. Two things were striking. The rising avalanche danger in the southeast of the Alps because of all the snowfall, but what was even more striking was the dropping avalanche danger in the northwest of the Alps. We had to deal with HIGH to EXTREME avalanche danger in the middle of January, but it decreased to MODERATE to CONSIDERABLE. The snow cover in the northwest is (at the moment!) much more stable than the previous three winters. The nasty layer with old snow with which we had to deal with the previous winters plays no significant role in the northwest of the Alps and this allows you to ride some steeper lines. The snow cover is thicker than normal and there's snow in places where you normally won't find any snow. It's a unique situation. But beware, this is the situation in the northwest of the Alps. By studying the avalanche forecast well, you can ride some steeper lines the coming period. If you have never done anything like this, go out with a certified mountain guide. Below some footage from Koen Bakkers who rode some nice lines this week in La Plagne. You see how important navigation and sluff management is. If you want to ride these kind of lines always inform yourself (for example in La Plagne or Les Arcs or just go out with a mountain guide.

But the situation is not the same everywhere. We saw a lot of avalanche activity in the southeast of the Alps last weekend. The avalanche situation there remains critical. It's still CONSIDERABLE (3 on a scale of 5). Always check your local avalanche forecast and adjust your plans to it.

Powder starts with the right knowledge

Off-piste skiing and snowboarding is a sport that comes with risks. Only when you know the risks you can make better decisions. That starts with the right knowledge. You will mainly learn what you are not allowed to do at first, but the more you know and the better your experience you will discover that there are moments during the winter when you can ride those steeper lines. With the right knowledge you choose to ride in the trees at one moment in time, and big open lines on other days. With the right knowledge you learn when you don't want to be in a certain place at a certain time, but eventually you also learn on which parts of the mountain you can ride with a minimum risk and still have lots of fun. That is why we partnered with Salomon and Atomic and started Mountain Academy. To make the most out of your powder day and still end the day with a beer, laughs and your powder buddies.

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New storm on the maps with snow for the southern Alps

A new storm appeared on the maps on Sunday. This storm is on its way to the Alps from Catalunia (see the black arrow above). Humid air is pushed into the Po-valley with a current from the south to southeast, which provides snow for the next 48-72 hours.

It will snow lightly in the southern French Alps (particularly south of the Ecrins and in the Alpes Marétimes), the north and west of the Piemonte, Liguria on Monday, but most of the snow will fall in the extreme south of the Piedmont.

Heavy snowfall in Prato Nevoso
Heavy snowfall in Prato Nevoso

The storm is coming closer to the Alps on Tuesday and the center of gravity is again in the southern Piedmont and the Apennines. It will snows heavily in these regions with a snow line around 500 meters in the Piedmont and around 900 meters in the Apennines. The snowfall will expand to the pre-Alps in the Dolomites later that day.

The north and west of the Alps are confronted with strong Föhn wind. This wind causes a temporary increase in temperature, but it also results in wind-drifted snow. You can see that the temperature is above zero around 1500 meters on our forecast maps .

Rising Föhn wind
Rising Föhn wind

The storm passed the center of Italy on Wednesday, and the core is more or less above the Adriatic Sea. As a result, the chances for snow in Carinthia and the Alpe Adria (the area on the border between Austria, Italy and Slovenia) are increasing again. But the big question for now is how much snow will fall. In contrast to storm Lotti, the path of the storm now seems to have a much more southeastern component, which means that most of the snow would fall in Slovenia. But it is still a good 48 hours and practice has taught us that nothing is as fickle as a storm in the Mediterranean.

PowderAlert #14: tips and regions

The new storm will bring fresh snow. Most snow will is forecasted in the Apennines and the southern Piedmont for the next 72 hours. You can expect 30-60, locally 80 cm of fresh snow the next couple of days. The big question mark is the snowfall in the Alpe Adria which is forecasted for Tuesday night and Wednesday. The intensity decreases according to the last runs with which the Alpe Adria are no longer 100% certain. For the time being the powder advice for the next 72 hours is as follows:

The most snow will come fown in those regions, the weekend is over and there are no crowds. You can also start searching for powder in the other regions in the Alps.

Long term: cold with a mix of sun and clouds

The air remains unstable above the Alps after Wednesday, so you can expect a mix of clouds and sun. For the time being there is no significant snow on the maps, but with no strong high pressure area above the Alps and an a jet stream towards the Alps is missing, everything is still possible. If you want guaranteed fresh powder then drive towards the southern Piedmont and the Apennines the next few days. If you have no problem with hiking, check your local avalanche forecast and weather report and choose the sunny moments to go for a nice hike.

wePowder Pro members: thanks for your support!!

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Are you not a wePowder Pro yet, but do you regularly read the weather forecast or use the services on wePowder? With an upgrade to wePowder Pro you support us, you can express your gratitude and you'll ride more powder. And it works great for your karma as well. Thanks! Oh, and you'll get a free 7-day trial when you register yourself on wePowder. No strings attached!

Stay stoked, Morris


  • erlenderstad
    erlenderstad op 5 Februar 2018 · 18:49
    Hi! Flying to Milan tomorrow - will Limone Piemonte be a Good choice to find the deepest snow?

    Regards, Erlend
  • camillaandersen144
    camillaandersen144 op 5 Februar 2018 · 19:44
    Hey @meteomorris, and Thanks a lot for sharing some of my photos!!😃 We’re heading south, and I’ll keep documenting your excellent accuracy!🙌🏻
  • andrewB
    andrewB op 5 Februar 2018 · 20:10
    Morris, where did you ski this Pa 13? Were you in alpeadria region?
  • andrewB
    andrewB op 5 Februar 2018 · 21:57
    @meteomorris where did you spend skiing this past PA 13? Alpeadria? Which ski center?
  • Akselh
    Akselh op 6 Februar 2018 · 09:37
    Hi @meteomorris, thanks for a great job with helping all of us in the powder hunt. We are travelling to the north-east of Italy today but have difficulties deciding between Alpe Adria and more western mountain ranges (Dolomities etc). As you say, this storm (tomorrow's snowfall that is) is difficult to predict!

    Will you update PA#14 this afternoon?
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 6 Februar 2018 · 09:59
    @erlenderstad yes and don't forget Prato Nevoso
    @camillaandersen144 thank you
    @andrewB I try to stay undercover as much as possible 😉
    @Akselh will do. So far NW Slovenia will get more than the heart of the Dolomites.
    May the powder be with you.
  • andrewB
    andrewB op 6 Februar 2018 · 11:02
    @meteomorris I understand 😃 Yesterday i saw caravan with NL plates driving up to my home ski resort and was wondering ...
  • Akselh
    Akselh op 6 Februar 2018 · 11:21
    Excellent @meteomorris. We have to decide location for tonight no later than 1330 so thankful for any updates 😉
  • Storpotatisen
    Storpotatisen op 6 Februar 2018 · 11:29
    @meteomorris I understand 😃 Yesterday i saw caravan with NL plates driving up to my home ski resort and was wondering ...andrewB op 6 Feb 2018 11:02

    Haha, I saw those as well going up and down the road between Tarvisio and Sella Nevea last week. Funny guys, flashing their lights, playing loud music and honking their horns! Most of them driving real old Volvos camouflaged as race-cars with lots of stuff on the roof.!
    Is that common in the Netherlands @meteomorris ? 😃
    *Nachricht bearbeitet durch Storpotatisen op 6 Feb 2018 11:29
  • hanserlingouff
    hanserlingouff op 6 Februar 2018 · 11:44
    Hi @meteomorris, and thank you for the great service you provide. We are flying to Milan tomorrow night, and are going to spend thursday trough saturday skiing. Should we just go for southern Piedmont, or is the potential in the next oppdate worth waiting a litle bit longer?
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 6 Februar 2018 · 13:34
    @Akselh I won't make my update in time so I would go to either the Southern Piemonte or the resorts at the NW of Slovenia.
    @Storpotatisen @andrewB LOL, It wasn't me. But Volvo's are really popular in the Netherlands. These guys must have been stoked (or stoned 😉)
    @hanserlingouff southern Piemonte
    May the powder be with you.
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 6 Februar 2018 · 15:11
    Sorry guys, not feeling well today. Powder advice for the upcoming days (48 hours)
    * southern Piemonte
    * NW Slovenia
    * Apennines

    Regions mentioned above will get the highest accumulations of fresh snow.
    New update probably tomorrow.

    Sorry for the delay.
    May the powder be with you.
  • Dovydas
    Dovydas op 6 Februar 2018 · 15:59
    Hi @meteomorris, I hope you will get better soon. Would Sella Nevea or Nassfeld be a good choice for a next few days? Apennines and Piemonte are too far for us to drive. Thanks!
    Never miss a powder day!


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