And it was getting warm. The forecasted higher temperatures arrived in the Alps from the west and it was about four degrees at 2000 meters in the west of the Alps (and about one degree in the west of Austria) on Friday and Saturday. The regions in the east of Austria were the big execptions. The freezing level was around 1000-1500 meters there. You could find some powder in the east on Saturday. In all the other regions you could only find powder on steep north faces and tight forests.
The reason of this (temporary) rise of temperatures is a low pressure area moving into the Gulf of Genua from the west. This Genua-low will result in a retour d’est. Right now, the current is still southwest to south and it’s snowing already in some places in the French southern Alps. The current will move to the southeast in the night from Saturday to Sunday. This means it will snow in the Italian Piemonte and a dropping freezing level. You can expect around 15-30 centimeters, locally even 30-50 centimeters from Saturday till Monday. The snowline will drop from 1800 meters to a 1000 meters.
The front will move to the east and the southern Alps central and the Dolomites will get some snow. The snowline will drop slowly, supported by cold air coming in from the east. Yes, it was warm on Friday and Saturday in the south and the west, but the cold air is coming back like a boomerang! Cold air will take over the Alps again. This will result in temperatures that we’re not really used to in this time of the season.
Southern Alps west: Sunday - Tuesday
Southern Alps central: Monday - Wednesday
Southern Alps east: Monday - Wednesday
You’ll have to search for powder in the other regions of the Alps. The snow in the east was pretty cold the last couple of days and you’ll have to look for some powder on steep north faces and tight forests in the west. If you happen to be in one of the resorts in the main alpine ridge the next couple of days, you shoulld go south. If you’re in the Savoie, you’ll only have to go through the Fréjus-tunnel or go to La Thuile to find some freshies. Same thing for the resorts near the Brennerpass or the Tauerntunnel in Austria. A drive of just one hour could result in freshies.
That’s still far away, but…..there is a chance that the western Alps and the northern Alps will get some freshies from Thursday. The models are still quite uncertain, but you might expect a powder alert for the western Alps from Friday and for the northern Alps from Sunday with a probability of 70%.
I’ll be in the southern Alps till then. Looking for some nice steeps!