It has been a while, but winter is back in the eastern parts of the Alps. And it’s even happening in the northeast of the Alps. They’ve been waiting for this dump pretty much whole winter. And just before Easter they’ll get some freshies with snow above a 1000 meters. It’s time to have a look at the webcams (unless you are in the Alps of course!)
Storm depression Pepica
The low pressure area Pepica is pushing cold air over the eastern flanks of high pressure area Olaf from the north pole straight to the Alps. And you could take that ’pushing’ pretty literally. Arctic air is forced to rise the moment it reaches the Alps and will become even colder. The result is intense precipitation with stormy winds. Olaf is situated above the North Sea and the cold air is only pushed towards Austria (because it’s blocking Switzerland and France), where it will snow intense. The southern Alps won’t get any snow with these northern depressions. The cold air will cause a drop in temperatures, but the northern Föhn will also resolve the clouds south of the Alps. Bottom line: significant snowfall in the Vorarlberg, Tirol, the Salzburgerland and Steiermark.
It’s already over after Wednesday. The influence of Olaf will expand into the Alps, the cold air won’t reach the Alps anymore and the clouds will resolve. The comeback is quite short, but will definitely bring some freshies in the higher alpine regions in Tirol, the Salzburgerland and Steiermark. The further east, the more snow. Especially the Hohe Tauren might get some snow (up to 60 centimeters), with resorts such as Kaprun, Sportgastein and Obertauern. Thursday and Friday will be pretty good days. The wind will drop, freshies and with a rising temperatures, it will be pretty good for one or two days. The western regions of Tirol and Vorarlberg can expect around 5-20 centimeters. And that’s just not enough for some good riding. The glacier resorts might get a little bit more, just enough for some nice lines. You can still find good snow on steep north faces (couloirs of 40+ degrees).
Olaf will dominate the weather in the northern Alps on the long term as well. This will result in low pressure areas that will determine the weather in the western and southern regions of the Alps during Easter and the days after. It won’t get really cold, but because of the instability there might be a chance for snow in the higher alpine in the southwest and west of the Alps. The chances for snow are rising especially in the Monte Rosa and the Ecrins. It’s too early for details, but more info later this week.
Enjoy the powder in the east!