Snow in the South, Fohn in the North

By meteomorris on 20 January 2013 · 0

It started snowing in the night from Friday to Saturday in the French southern Alps and now the snowfall is extending into the rest of the southern Alps. The consequence of snow in the southern Alps is a föhn storm in the northern parts and that's showed pretty clearly in these reports on Powfinder.

Snow and stau in the south

Föhn in the north

The differences can be as big as that. It's only a two to three hour drive and you'll ride powder instead of slush.

Powder this week? The southern Alps!

PowderAlert #16 is continuing. The jetstream is south of the Alps and the southern Alps have the best changes for snow. This means some snow in the southern Alps and dry weather in the northern Alps.

Jetstream south of the Alps
Jetstream south of the Alps

Short term

The day started warm in the northern Alps today with a zero degree level around 1700-2100 meter. It's still snowing in the south even though there are some spells in the French southern Alps. The snowfall is intensifying this afternoon in the eastern parts of the southern Alps. The snowcover will grow significantly in the Dolomites and the Karntischer Alps. Cold air will come in from the west in the night from Sunday to Monday and the French northern Alps can expect aroun 2-7 centimeter of freshies.

After the weekend

The Genua-low will turn into an Adria-low and this will result in snowfall in the eastern parts of the Alps. The resorts south of the main alpine ridge will still have the most snow. There might be a new front coming in from the southwest on Wednesday and as a result it might snow in the French southern Alps and the southern Piemonte. The fronts just keep on hitting the southern Alps! The directions of these fronts are shifting a bit, so I'll update the forecast frequently the next days.

But one thing is 100% certain. If you want to ride powder, you'll have to go to the southern Alps. The have a solid base, more snow will fall and it was pretty cold. PowderAlert #16 will continue into the rest of the week. You can go the the southern Alps for the next six days and you'll find powder. PowderAlert #17 might just start from Wednesday!

A change starting the 27th?

The models of ECMWF and GFS are quite sure what will happen this week and the long term is pretty clear as well. Something will happen next weekend. Will it be a pure west stau? Will it be a southwest stau and föhn in the north? Or is winter returning in the north. There are two scenarios at the moment. The GFS model is showing a pure stau from the west. ECMWF is showing a southwest stau. Time will tell.


De komende week is in ieder geval voor het zuiden. Af en toe zul je moeten zoeken, maar de gebieden zijn hier minder bekend en overlopen en poeder scoor je er nog relatief makkelijk.

This week will be for the south. You'll have to search for powder now and then, but the ski areas are less known and crowded and it's pretty easy to score powder.

Check the wePowder Freeride Guide for:

  1. French southern Alps

  2. Western Piemonte and Aosta

  3. Southern Alps central

  4. Southern Alps east


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