Powderalert #31


By meteomorris on 17 April 2013 · 0

My apologies for the late update, but there still are place in Austria where the internet is as slow as a beginner on a blue slope. But hey, we managed to get through and it’s just in time for PowderAlert #31.

Summer arrived last weekend in the Alps after a long winter. And that had some consequences. The snowcover transformed from cold and dry to warm and wet. There still were some dry slab avalanches on Saturday, but during Sunday and Monday the avalanches transformed into wet snow avalanches (that could become really back). I’m in Ischgl at the moment where there was an avalanche about every ten minutes on south facing slopes on Tuesday.

The result of the warm weather is a completely soaked snowcover up to 3000 meter and higher. The snowcover is even soaked on north faces up to 24000 meters and that is causing some very dangerous conditions in the Alps. It resulted in a lot of fatal accidents due to wet snow avalanches. The avalanche danger is high for a couple of days already. South facing slopes are dangerous after ten (in the morning that is) o’clock and north facing slopes could get really dangerous in the afternoon. This situation will last till Thursday. It will be warm and sunny on Thursday and later during the day some clouds might form and it might rain a bit.

New storm
New storm

Summary

The temperature will drop from Thursday to Friday. Cold air has the chance to move to the Alps in between a high pressure area in the south and a low pressure area above the United Kingdom. The result? PowderAlert #31! The northwest will get the first snow on Friday. But….because of the rise of a high pressure area (coming in from the southwest) the low pressure area will be divided in two parts. One part is moving to Scandinvaia, the other part will turn into a Genau-low and will bring snow to the southern parts of the Alps. The instability in the air layers will disappear on Sunday and warmer air is coming into the Alps again. Saturday and Sunday will be two good days for maybe the last powder of the season. It’s getting warmer on Monday.

And freshies

Details, details

An active front is coming in from the northwest on Friday. Especially the Swiss northern alpine ridge and the main alpine ridge in Switzerland will get hit. The snowline will drop rapidly from 1700 meters to 1200 meters. I expect over 30-60 centimeters of freshies in Switzerland. The French western Alps and Austrua can expect 5-30 centimeters of freshies. Please keep in mind that the snowcover is soaking wet and the weight of the fresh snow could lead to avalanches. And to make things worse….at places where the snowcover had time to recover a bit (as in: colder) this new icy toplayer is just perfect for slab avalanches.

The Piemonte is next on Saturday. The Genua-low is developing during the night from Friday to Saturday and it will start snowing in the south. The snowline will drop rapidly. It’s still snowing in the northern Alps as well, but the snowline will start rising there during the day.

Some snow for the south again on Sunday, but the sun will come out quick. Sunday might be a great day. Especially the resorts in Switzerland and the northern Piemonte had a lot of freshies. The temperatures will rise rapidly and it will be sunny again after Sunday. Next update will be in the middle of next week (or earlier if necessary). Enjoy the powder the next couple of days and ride with your head!

Stay stoked

Morris


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