All ingredients for a north Stau are there. The NAO-index is moving to neutral, an active low pressure area is getting stronger and cold, arctic air is moving south. This active front is moving south on Saturday and is heading to the Austrian northern Alps. The outcome of this moving front was a battle between the models of the Americans (GFS), the Europeans (ECMWF) and the Brits (UKMO) the last two days. But, as it usually works in politics, the models agreed in the end. Check out the output for this Friday below. There aren't that many differences, but…a high-pressure area is visible as well.
But let's talk about snow first. The front is coming in from the northwest and is expected during the night from Thursday to Friday. It will push its clouds into the Alps from the Swiss Glaner Alps to the Totes Gebirge in the Austrian Steiermark. The current will turn north after that, and there's no other option for the incoming clouds to drop their snow. I expect the most snow on Saturday morning in the Swss Glaner Alps, the resorts west and north of the Arlberg, the Kleinwalsertal, the resorts in the northern Alps of the Salzburgerland and the resorts in and around Dachstein. You can expect around 20-40 centimeters, locally even 50 centimeters. The biggest problem could be the wind. If it will stay down, it will be a typical north stau situation with cold and dry flakes. You can ride powder pretty quick, because of the alpine meadows that don't need a lot of snow.
The high pressure area will take over after Saturday. It will rise from the west and will reach the Alps on Sunday. The nights will be cold and clear and some hoar might form. This high pressure area will be around for at least for days, so the surface hoar might be a problem when the snow will come down later this month. More details tomorrow.
Don't forget to check out the latest episode of Salomon Freeski TV. Mike Douglas, Henrik Windstedt and Kaj Zackrisson are using my forecast to find powder during their roadtrip through the Alps. Yes! wePowder in Salomon Freeski TV! I'm pretty stoked that they found pow!