It started snowing in the French southern Alps and the Piemonte. You can spot the first flakes on the webcams of Isola 2000, Valberg and Limone Piemonte. PowderAlert #13 officially started. And again, it’s for the southern Alps, the part of the Alps that wasn’t exactly short of snow. But fortunately for the northern Alps, you can still find great powder there and a lot of reports came in yesterday.
But back to PowderAlert #13. The low pressure area Mayla is responsible for the snow coming from the south. Mayla is a so-called ‚Genua-low’ and those low-pressure areas always bring snow to the southern Alps and a Föhn-wind to the northern Alps.
If you have a look at the Föhn chart below, you can easily spot two different ‚events’ coming up. The first front is moving in from the south and will bring snow between today and Friday morning. It will snow intense in the southern Alps, and the low pressure area will cool down the temperature and the snow will fall deep into the valleys. But Mayla will loose her grip on the Alps in the night from Thursday to Friday.The föhn chart
There’s a huge low-pressure area waiting above the Atlantic Ocean from Friday. The Alps will temporarily have to deal with a weak southern current and the incoming air in the southern Alps will be pretty warm, especially in the eastern regions of the southern Alps. The freezing level will go up to 1700-1900 meters on Saturday and Sunday. The temperatures won’t rise that much in the other regions of the southern Alps (southern Alps west and southern Alps central), because the warm winds can’t easily reach the colder valleys in the Piemonte.
One thing that the Föhn chart isn’t really showing that well is ‚event’ number three that’s about to happen in the night from Saturday to Sunday. A huge low pressure area is sending another front to the Alps on Saturday. Both GFS and ECMWF are forecasting that a new Genua-low will form, but they have different interpretations, so it’s not sure where the snow will fall exactly, because small shifts can have major consequences. If we want to believe the ECMWF and the Föhn-chart, than it will be epic in the Piemonte. If GSF will be right, than we have to go to the Dolomites on Sunday. I definitely have a close look on the outcome the next couple of days.
The forecast for the short term is pretty much the same as the one from yesterday. The biggest difference is the temperature that won’t rise that much in the west and that won’t (hopefully) be that much of a problem in the southern Alps east. You can expect the freezing level to rise temporarily to 1700 meters in the Dolomites, Carintiha and the Julian Alps on Friday and especially Saturday. The snow line will be around 1300 to 1500 meters. The snow will be pretty humid in the forests. It will be much colder in the Piemonte, Aosta and Lombardia, but they’ll get less freshies.
According to the latest runs, Saturday will be pretty warm and the temperature will drop again in the night from Saturday to Sunday with snow from the west. This is our advice for PowderAlert #13:
Southern Alps west: freshies from Wednesday till Sunday. A little bit warmer on Saturday.
Southern Alps central: freshies from Thursday till Sunday. A little bit too warm on Friday afternoon and Saturday
Southern Alps east: Epic on Thursday and Friday morning, the temperature will rise rapidly on Friday afternoon.
French southern Alps: freshies from Thursday to Sunday, especially in the southern regions and first Alps.
More details about where to ride will follow tomorrow, but right now I think the Piemonte will be the region to go to. Colder, larch trees and freshies. If you ride in the trees, the avalanche risk is lower than in the high alpine and you’ll ride great pow.