It's dumping! Where to go?

By meteomorris on 17 January 2013 · 0

Snowfall the last couple of days
Snowfall the last couple of days

Another two days of cold snow, an ongoing southwest lage, southföhn on Sunday and colder on Monday. Chose your playground wisely this weekend!

It snowed pretty intense on the border of Italy, Karinthia and Slovenia since Wednesday. The riding is awesome in and around the Karntischer Alpen and the Dolomites with around 50-75 centimeters of cold freshies in the last 24 hours. The first powder reports came in out of those regions yesterday. Our user reports page is live (with a fancy infinity scroll) and you can look back at all the dumps of this winter. Just in case you’ve got nothing to do.


The avalanche danger now is four on a scale of five in resorts like Nassfeld and Forni di Sopra. It’s expected that the snowcover can stabilize a bit, since the most intense snowfall is over. Don’t forget to check the avalanche bulletin on a daily basis on all the resort pages on wePowder and adapt your riding to the report.

The precipitation shifted to the northern side of the Austrian main alpine ridge last night and it started to snow pretty intense over there. It’s snowing really intense particularly in the northern Alps of the Salzburgerland and Steiermark. Except for the eastern parts, it’s pretty sunny and dry in the rest of the Alps today. But that’s only until a southwest storm will hit the Alps.

Weekendwarriors, mind yourselves, will it be Gong or Hansgeorg?

If you only have the opportunity to travel to the Alps during weekends, than the upcoming weekend will a complex one. The jetstream is shifting to the southwest and that means a southern föhn, a South stau and snow in the French southern Alps and the rest of the southern Alps.

Southern föhn on Sunday
Southern föhn on Sunday

The cause of this new front is a concatenation of low pressure areas that are west of the British islands right now and will be heading to the Alps via Spain this weekend. A storm that will probably appear as Gong or Hansgeorg on the weather maps tomorrow. This low pressure area is deepening and marks the border of the extreme cold air that’s above Europe right now and the warmer air in the south. This combination will result in fireworks from Saturday till Monday. What kind of fireworks? Well, what about white flakes falling down that will result in around 70-130 centimeter of freshies in the southern Alps?

Southwest low pressure scenario?

So, why will it be a southwest low and not a western low pressure stau? Well, a powerful high pressure area above Scandinavia (the poor Scandinavians haven’t seen freshies for weeks) is forcing the the low pressure area to follow a southern direction. As a result, the front won’t hit the Alps straight from the west, but has a more southwest approach. So the core of the front will be in the resort that are situated perfectly for a southwest front. You have to go to the French southern Alps from Saturday and the rest of the southern Alps from Sunday afternoon.

It will be cold, dry and sunny on Friday. Enjoy the fresh powder in the east. The front is coming in on Saturday morning from the southwest. This results in a stormy föhn wind in the northern Alps and it will start snowing heavily in the French southern Alps and the Aosta (Courmayeur). The snowline is around 800-1100 meters in the southwest stau regions and the valleys that will stay pretty cold. The snowline in the other resorts will be around 1400 meters. You’ll find nice powder in the Ecrins and Courmayeur on Sunday. Head for the faces with a northern exposition, because the combination of sun and warmer air that’s coming can cause problems on southern expositions.

The precipitation is moving to the east on Sunday. The air is warmer and the snowline in the Dolomites and the Karinthischer Alps will be around 1200 meter when it starts snowing, but will rise to 1500 meters soon. And the northern Alps are still suffering the stormy south föhn.

Powder advice

If you want to ride powder the next couple of days, hereby my advice:

Thursday (resorts with trees)

++ Southern Alps East

++ Northern Alps East

+ Northern Alps Central

Friday (sunny, so basically everywhere)

+ Southern Alps East

+ Northern Alps East

+ Northern Alps Central


+ French southern Alps+ Courmayeur (resorts with trees)

+ Southern Alps East (sunny)

+/- Northern Alps East (strong southern föhn)

+/- Northern Alps central (strong southern föhn)


++ French southern Alps + Courmayeur (resorts with trees)

+/- Southwest stau areas of the French northern Alps (please mind, strong south east föhn)

+ Southern Alps east (sunny)

+/- Northern Alps east (strong southern föhn)

+/- Northern Alps central (strong southern föhn)

Stay stoked



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