Storm depression Quendolin has reached western Europe and will bring snow for the northern Alps tonight and tomorrow morning. She’s bringing cold polair air and that will cause the snow line to drop rapidly (around 1000-1500 meters, but even to 700 meters in the inner alpine valleys). You can expect around 5-15 centimeters tomorrow morning. The top layer of the current snowpack is pretty much frozen, so 5-15 centimeters won’t be enough for a real powder experience. Except for the steeper north faces, that got some fresh snow earlier this week and where the snow isn’t completely transformed.
The snowfall in the northern Alps won’t last long. Quendolin is moving to the southern Alps and will bring a squadron of low pressure areas that will cause long-term instability in the southern Alps. But (unfortunately there’s a but), the cold arctic air will be gone and warm air form the southeast will enter the Alps, causing the snow line to rise during Easter. The freezing level will be around 1600 meters on Saturday, but will be around 2000 meters on Sunday and will go further up (to 2300 meters) after Sunday. You can still find some dry snow above 2300-2500 meters after Monday/Tuesday.
Where to go?
The most snow will come down in the southern Otztal to Sulden in IItaly and even more will come down in the Monte Rosa. You can expect around 40-70 centimeters of freshies, but with a rising snow line. The precipitation will be less from Sunday and it’s moving west. This will be the time to look for the higher faces of the Otztal, Sulden, the Monte Rosa and the Gotthard. You can definitely find powder above 2400 meters. There might still be some isolated showers during the day though. That’s something you have to keep in mind when you’re touring deep into the backcountry, because bad visibility and precipitation might cause some trouble. The weather will be better after Tuesday and you can still enjoy yourself in the higher alpine. Or Quendolin must decide to hang around a bit longer.