PA #13: the status

By meteomorris on 1 February 2014 · 0

Can you still spot the cabin?
Can you still spot the cabin?

When we take a look at the PowderQuest reports, we've seen quite a lot of reports with 70+ cm of freshies, but even more with 100+ centimeters. Especially the Austria region of Kärnten and the Dolomites got the mother load. And even though the clouds were getting thinner in some regions in the southern Alps, it just kept on snowing in other regions.

There are so much freshies right now in the southern Alps (potential record snowfall), even though records haven't been broken yet. The avalanche risk was high in many places. In some places they had a large three, on many places a large four and in many parts of the southern Alps east the avalanche risk was very high (that's five on a scale of five).

Erben Wennemars

Warm front

The warm air came in on Friday afternoon and this caused the temperatures to rise. This warm front will be around till Saturday afternoon, when the new active front with lots of precipitation arrives. This is the current situation:

  • Southern Alps east: The freezing level is between 1400 and 1700 meters. +100 centimeters of freshies in the last 24 hours and the avalanche risk is high or very high.

  • Southern Alps central: The freezing level is between 1400 and 1700 meters. 30-70 centimeters of freshies in the last 24 hours and the avalanche risk is considerable or high.

  • Southern Alps west: The temperatures were low in the deep and small valleys. 30-70 centimeters of freshies in the last 24 hours. The avalanche danger is considerable and there are warnings for wet snow avalanches.

Fast rising temperatures in the Engadin
Fast rising temperatures in the Engadin

There’s a huge amount of snow in the complete southern Alps, with Aosta as an exception. The temporary rise of temperatures and the relative high avalanche risk are the drawbacks. The warm air will be around for a while tomorrow. It will start snowing again during the day. The temperature will drop and the snow line will drop to a 1000 meters.

It will start snowing in the southern east regions of the Alps and they will get the most snow again. It will snow heavily as well in the Piemonte, but it won’t snow that much in the Aosta. You can expect 50+ centimeters in the southern Alps and around 30-50 centimeters in the southern Piemonte till Sunday night. The Aosta region can expect only 20-30 centimeters.

Advice for the weekend

There will be a lot of precipitation this weekend, but things are a bit complicated. It won’t be really fluffy and dry, but it’s going to be deep. The more inner alpine you’ll be, the less problems you’ll have with rising temperatures. Best bets are probably the Engadin, the Monte Rosa or the western Piemonte. Monday might bring more snow, but there’s also still the risk of rising temperatures. More details on Sunday evening.

What would I do?

If I had to jump in a car right now, I’d drive to the Fréjustunnel. There are many larch trees on the Italian side of the border till 2200-2300 meters and many valleys where it’s pretty hard for the high temperatures to come in.

Long term

Cold and warm fronts will hit the Alps from the west bringing snow to especially the French Alps till the weekend of 8-9 February. The best conditions can probably be found in the higher resorts and you’ll have to keep in mind that it can be mild and windy. On the other hand the weather might shift instantly and you’ll get fresh. It doesn’t look too good for the week after that. Too warm.

Stay Stoked



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