It was around 7 degrees at 2000 meters altitude in the west and south of the Alps yesterday afternoon, and yes, that's pretty warm. It wasn't that warm In the east of the Alps, but even there the temperature was above zero degrees at 2000 meters. You'll have to search for powder on north faces and in shady couloirs. But in some locations the drift snow from last week didn't settle yet and a group of skiers can cause an avalanche. In short, you really have to search for powder. You'll have to ski, bootpack, snowshoe deep into the terrain or simply go to the east of the Alps.
It was warm
Small Alert for the east
I announced a PowderWatch for #17 yesterday. The less frequent reader will say: A Powder Watch? Yes, to serve you even better I chopped my coverage of significant snowfall into pieces. And now works like this:
PowderWatch (there's snow coming)
PowderAlert (we know in which regions the snow will fall )
Where to go (finetuning: last-minute tips)
From PowderWatch to small alert for the east
The amounts and locations are becoming more clear. It's not going to be super deep and if you're willing to spend hours in the car you're exaggerating a bit, but if you happen to be nearby or you live in the Alps than it's a pretty good one to ride. The last few hours, the front has become less strong in the calculations and it's also focussing more clearly. Which leads to the following small alert:
You'll have to head east for some fresh powder. If everything falls into place then you can expect 20-35 cm around the Dachstein Massif and the northern Alps of Styria and Salzburg between Wednesday and Friday. Also around and in the Hohe Tauern you can expect around 20-25 cm. No real large amounts, but the wind is moderate to strong according to the latest forecasts and can create significant differences between the windward and leeward side. But it's better than nothing. Tomorrow we'll finetune so you know where you should be on Thursday and Friday.
1020 millibar and still lots of freshies?
Normally, 1020 millibars means high pressure, blue skies and a pounding sun. But if the air pressure in the area exceeds the 1020 millibar (or more precise: 1018 millibar according to the latest calculations) it suddenly becomes a low pressure area. That is one. Also striking is the extremely cold upper air entering from the east on Saturday. Which makes two. Thirdly, we have to deal with the orography of the Southern Alps. In particular in the Piedmont, the Alps rise from scratch towards the 3,000 meters and higher, which makes three and the proximity to the Mediterranean Sea that is full with humid air kinda helps as well. Four factors that will bring snow. Either something with a low pressure area south of the Alps, a Genoa low, wind from the east in the Po Valley and perhaps even a Adria-low. Monday might be really good.
PA#18 between Watch and Alert
It's certain that PA #18 will come. That the Southern Alps will get snow is also certain, but it is too early to tell you where to be exactly. It seems to start snowing intense deep into the valleys from Sunday. The southern Alps currently have the best cards, but also the rest of the Alps might get some snow. Too early for details, but if you have some time, Monday and the days after might be good.
Tomorrow a new update!