PA #27: Spring pow!


By Niels on 25 April 2014 · 0

In case you've missed the powder during Easter, here's another chance for you to stretch the season. It's clearly spring at the moment in the Alps, the freezing level is around 2800 meters. It's partly cloudy, which is not too good for tour skiers. It's not particularly cold during the nights as well and as a result it's pretty hard for the snow to loose its humidity during the night and get colder again.

But…it's pretty good news for freeriders. The (weak) fronts that are the reason of all the clouds are caused by a strong western jet stream. This jet stream can be found south of the Alps and only the weak fronts from the west will hit the Alps. These fronts are pushed into the Gulf of Genua, where they pick up a lot of moisture. They're pushed into the Po-valley after that. And you've guessed it…this will cause a lot of precipitation in the southern Alps.

Saturday 12.00: the front is clearly visible
Saturday 12.00: the front is clearly visible

Sunday 12.00: the front is still on the maps
Sunday 12.00: the front is still on the maps

Friday and Saturday will be partly cloudy and pretty warm. Some flakes may come down, but it won't be much. The Genua low is arriving in the night from Saturday to Sunday and the precipitation will intensify in the southern Alps. At the same time the temperature will drop as a result of the precipitation. The snow line will be around 1600 to 1800 meters. The precipitation will still go strong on Monday, but the temperatures will rise slowly. The sun will come out at the end of the day on Monday or on Tuesday. I expect the most snow to fall between the Gran Paradiso and Andermatt. The regions where the most snow will fall can expect between 50 to 100 centimeters of freshies. Keep in mind that it's Spring. That means that fronts are warmer, the first mountains will only get rain and the snow won't fall until the main alpine ridge.

Ensemble for the northern Piemonte
Ensemble for the northern Piemonte

My advice for the next couple of days:

  • Saturday: check out snowmaps on the web

  • Sunday: the southern Alps central is the place to be. High forests on north faces might be in good condition from the afternoon.

  • Monday: high forests on north faces. The sun might come out later that day.

  • Tuesday: the sun will come out. This will be the day for lines in the higher alpine. The snow will be pretty good above 2200 meters.

Until Monday 12.00

The next couple of days will demand a lot from your creativity. You'll need high forests on north faces. And terrain that's wide and open when the sun comes out. The resorts have to be in the main alpine ridge, the resort has to be still open and you want to avoid glaciers. But…the rider that is creative will probably be rewarded!


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