It was pretty warm in the Alps on Monday and the freezing level reached 2000 meters in the southern Alps and 2500 meters in the other regions of the Alps. But it's a different story from today. For the western parts of the Alps that is. A high pressure area blocked cold air from the north trying to get to the Alps, but that ‘airblock' is gone and the cold air is on its way to the Alps. This will result in a division of air pressure that will make powder-and-pasta lovers very happy!
A large low-pressure area is forming in the Mediterrenean (one again) and the famous retour d'est will be on fire again. A retour d'rest will result in snow in the Italian Piemonte. It's snowing heavily at the moment. The snowline dropped to a 1000 meters last night and hey, have a look at the webcams, does that look like winter or what?Sestriere
A huge low pressure area is forming above the northwestern regions of the Alps after today. That can be seen on the map below. It's an interesting, but also a pretty complex situation. There isn't a really strong jetstream at the moment above the Alps and that results in multiple fronts that are moving around the low pressure area. It's hard to tell what the exact direction will be. I'm pretty sure that it will snow a lot in the Italian Piemonte on Tuesday and that snowfall will expand to the eastern parts of the southern Alps. Lots of freshies today! You can expect around 20-40 centimeters on the border with France and around 60 centimeters in the first Alps of the Piemonte and the Aosta. Too bad there aren't any lifts open in the part of the Alps.
And after Tuesday? Well, it's quite a gamble for the exact pattern, because a shift in the low pressure areas will have consequences for the fronts and the exact location where the fluffy white stuff known as snow will come down. Confusing? Yes. But the three different models don't agree (yet) on the details. The ECMWF is showing the most snow on the border of Italy, Switzerland and France, but GFS en WRF are placing their bets on the eastern regions of the southern Alps. But hey, since it's my job to inform you where to find powder, I'll give it go anyway!
The long term statistics are showing that the ECMWF are right most of the time. But on the other hand we have to deal with the ‘hard to predict' snowfall in the southern Alps. All the weather models are having a hard time forecasting that region right. Always. So we have to add a little bit of mountain weather experience and personal touch to it. My opinion is that it will snow heavily in the southern Alps. This time in the region between the Gran Paradiso and Piz Buin. That's the northern Piemonte, the Aosta, the south of Wallis, the west of the Engadin and south of the Gotthard. That's basicly this weather region.
Snow will also fall in the west of Wallis, the Savoie and the Haute Savoie, because of the northern kickback.The front is strong enough and will reach the southern Alps, and it will probably even reach the Austrian glaciers. Pretty much most of the Alps will get their fix, except the French southern Alps, because a southwestern component in the current is missing. The Austrian northern Alps didn't get that much snow as well, but that might change after this PowderAlert.
PowderAlert #4 will be a good one. There isn't that much open and you have to go to those resorts that have their lifts up and running. We'll give you an update on Thursday with the ‘where-to-go' areas!Stay stoked
Oh, you'll find our snowmaps here!