PA #17: high peaks, low valleys

By meteomorris on 17 February 2014 · 0

Meribel this morning
Meribel this morning

Sunday was a nice day in the northwestern regions in the Alps. The precipitation came down later in the southern Alps and the snow line was pretty high (in some places around 1900 meters) in the southeast. The snow line eventually dropped over there as well, so it will feel like winter pretty much everywhere today. Unfortunately, not for long.

This winter never had really cold temperatures and this is not the week where that will happen. And that makes this winter like a meteorological paradox. This winter is way too warm when you compare it to the long year average, but the snow level hasn't been this thick for thirty years in some regions in the southern (French and Italian) Alps. A deep winter doesn't necessarily has to be an arctic winter. It normally is though in the northern Alps. Huge dumps in the northern Alps normally come from the northwest and northeast and those fronts are always combined with a strong drop in temperature.

Andermatt, deep snow
Andermatt, deep snow

Fronts from the south with Föhn and high(er) temperatures. Today will start sunny in large parts of the French Alps, Switzerland and Austria, expect for Ost-Tirol, Carinthia and large parts of Italy. It will snow over there and the snow line will rise to 900 to 1200 meters. Those are the first signs of a new southern Föhn.

Southern Föhn on Tuesday
Southern Föhn on Tuesday

High peaks

The southern Föhn will kick in on Tuesday and the temperatures will rise in the French northern Alps en and the other regions of the northern Alps. It will be colder in the south because of the orographic effects. The freezing level will be around 2500-2800 meters in the north and the west (influenced by the Föhn). In the southern Alps, the freezing level will be between 1500-1900 meters. You can find some powder on north faces and in the trees. The wind will cause drift snow in the high alpine. Check your local avalanche bulletin and adapt your plans to it!

A new front from the west will come in on Wednesday. This will bring snow (and rain) in the southern Alps first, but the cold front (planned for Wednesday afternoon/night) will bring snow (and less rain) to Austria as well. The sun will come out on Thursday, so this will be a pretty good powder day. The best bets are the southern Alps and…..AUSTRIA.

Thursday will be a powderday
Thursday will be a powderday

The days after Thursday (till Sunday) might be a period with snow, cold temperatures and PowderAlert #18.

Powder advice the next couple of days:

Stay stoked



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