PowderAlert #24


By meteomorris on 26 March 2014 · 0

Winter is back in the Alps since last weekend. It was on in most parts of the Alps since Sunday and you can still find a lot of powder as the reports below are showing us.

Morris forecasted a Genua-low at the beginning of the week and that low pressure area is active right now. You could see on the webcams of the Piemonte that the day started with some sun coming through the clouds, but it has started snowing by now.

First flakes in Sestrière
First flakes in Sestrière

Computer models always have trouble with a Genua-low. That’s the reason you don’t see that much precipitation in the models, like the GFS-ensemble below.

GFS ensemble, without a Genua low
GFS ensemble, without a Genua low

The weather maps below are telling a different story. You can easily spot the low pressure area. The low pressure area is not as powerful as expected and it’s moving west. Another part is sucked into the Po-valley and this front will meet the peaks of the western Piemonte.

Weather maps, with a Genua low
Weather maps, with a Genua low

The Genua low is still there on Thursday
The Genua low is still there on Thursday

Because of this slightly weaker low pressure area there won’t be as much snowfall as expected, but you still can expect around 50 centimeters till Friday morning in the areas that normally get the most precipitation. It’s also good to check the Lamma maps, just to verify things. They’re using a smaller grid and are more accurate.

50 centimeters possible locally

Long term

Spring seems to return to the Alps next week. Higher temperatures and stabile weather are coming in. Some calculations are expecting a weak front from the southwest in the middle of next week. And combined with the higher temperatures, this could end up in rain on high altitude, especially in the west and north of the Alps. So you better hurry and don’t miss out on the snow to come.

Warm and rain next week?
Warm and rain next week?

Advice for the next couple of days

The northern or western Alps are a good option for some touring the next couple of days. There might be some lost clouds or a single snowflake coming down, but it will be mainly sunny. The snow cover is stabilizing slowly and the temperatures will go up slowly. It’s time for some spring lines in the higher alpine. You can still find powder on the right faces.

For deep powder and probably the last tree runs of the season you’ll have to go to the southern and western Piemonte. The Genua-low is arriving today and you can expect up to 50 centimeters in the areas that get the most precipitation. And the snowfall is falling on a thick and pretty much stable base. Other parts of the western and central southern Alps might get some snow, but that won’t be worth the trouble.

Do you find the Piemonte just too far away? The tree runs are awesome, the base if thick and you can reach the region pretty easily through the Frejustunnel. Still too far away. Touring in the northern and western Alps could get you come nice snow. But there’s a big chance that the conditions won’t be that good anymore after the weekend.


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