PA#2 (Piemonte) & PA#3 (North Stau)


By meteomorris on 2 December 2014 · 3

Piemonte oohoo, Piemonte oohooh
Piemonte oohoo, Piemonte oohooh

It was a warm weekend in the Alps. The freezing level went up towards the 2,200 meters or even higher and only above 2,400 meters there was significant snowfall in the Italian Piemonte. Meanwhile, it was 14 degrees in the northern Alps, which obviously is way to warm. But there is good news:

  • Snow again in the Piemonte (PA#2)

  • Is the northern Stau really coming? (PA#3?)

PA#2 Up to the Piemonte this weekend!

A stubborn low pressure area provides the Piemonte with snow freshies the next couple of days. Don't expect deep treeruns, but there's a huge base waiting for you above the treeline. You can find a snow cover of around 140-200 centimeters at 2300 meters altitude and you can expect 30-70 centimeters of freshies the next couple of days.

Low pressure area Xandra is causing snowfall
Low pressure area Xandra is causing snowfall

It will continue to snow on Friday in the Piemonte and the snow line will drop on Thursday and Friday to around 1100 meters. If it will be dry this weekend is not sure. More about that the next couple of days. For now there is a small cold front coming in, but because it is so weak, it is difficult to estimate what happens. You can assume that it will snow in the Piemonte till Friday morning and that the sun will come out after that. Updates on Thursday with the where to go resorts for this weekend. Wax up! Below some current pictures from the southern Alps.

Monte Rosa
Monte Rosa

Monte Rosa
Monte Rosa

PA#3: the northern Stau

Is the northern Stau coming and if so: when exactly? The northern Stau is coming for sure. It can be seen on the snowmaps for a while now and it probably won't leave. But... there's still a high pressure area that can cause some trouble. After this weekend the first attempt for a northern Stau. The models of GFS and ECMWF almost agree on this. Somewhere over the weekend, or on Monday, there will be a first attempt to send cold air from the arctic towards the south.

Northern Stau on Monday
Northern Stau on Monday

And the invasion of cold air is visible on the maps. When we take a look at the so-called ensembles for the northern Alps, we can say that winter is on its way. It will be cold. Like really cold.

Much colder
Much colder

The last couple of weeks it was way too warm for the time of the year, but the models are showing cold temperatures for over a week now (starting after the upcoming weekend). Check out the upper spaghetti lines that are ducking under the red line. It will be cold enough for snow in the northern Alps. And that was about time, because there isn't that much snow to be found.

Zillertal Arena is still green
Zillertal Arena is still green

Positive points

And that's positive. That these peaks are not as high as in many other dumps in the southern Alps isn't that strange. The cold air from the north may contain less moisture and so the weather model calculates not so much precipitation, but ...... The cloud pushes against the mountains, cools down and delivers more snow then the weather model calculates and secondly the supplied air is very cold and in cold air a millimeter of rain produces more snow than in warmer air. And that is positive as well. But then the wind will have to keep quiet, because it is just another snow killer (less centimeters of snow per mm of water). The disadvantage is that there is very little snow above 2000 meters and precisely there we need a base for the rest of the season . A further disadvantage is that fronts with a lot of cold air rarely get really deep into the Alps. Enough positive and negative points for the next short period to keep an eye on. Especially with the northern Stau on the maps as well.

Second (bigger) northern Stau in the middle of next week

And the western Alps?

The invasion of cold air is visible in the western Alps as well. This weekend there is a chance of snow, just like the middle of next week. But that last part isn't quite certain yet. We'll keep an eye on it!

Western Alps
Western Alps

The southern Alps?

It's pretty exciting. There's plenty of snow in the Southern Alps, but will they have some freshies after the weekend? In addition, a northern Stau comes with a northern Föhn (which means strong winds from north). But there is no chance of freshies then? A famous retour d'est for instance? The maps show some indications, but that is still too far away.

Ensemble Piemonte
Ensemble Piemonte

Retour d'est 8/9 December?
Retour d'est 8/9 December?

It's still far away. There plenty of snow in the south. The north has no snow, but will see some freshies next week. Will we choose PA#2 and extend it ... or do we go for the uncertainty of PA#3 without a base in the northern Alps? Time will tell.

Tomorrow a special on the northern Alps. Thursday a where to go for the weekend.

Stay stoked

Morris

Comments


  • Furthy34
    Tourist
    Furthy34 op 3 December 2014 · 22:52
    What is a north stau?
  • Arjen
    Advanced
    Arjen op 3 December 2014 · 23:29
    @Furty34 When a depression comes from the north, hits the Alps and is forced to snow empty (ergo: leaving all the snow in the northern Alps).
    One day, they'll invent synthetic powder, ban all kinds of work and give you a free liftpass...
  • Pancugolo
    Tourist
    Pancugolo op 4 December 2014 · 07:36
    I am leaving all my depressions here in the north, and go to the south.
    Skiing is bad, I hate that actually.

Reply

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