PA #18: 200 cm+ in the forecast?

By meteomorris on 11 March 2015 · 2

Well, and we thought it was spring already. The temperatures went up considerably in the Alps the last couple of days and a lot of riders went touring, but winter didn't leave the building yet. I'm packing my stuff, waxing up my board and looking for accommodation. I'll skip the little alert in the east and I'm going for the motherload which PowderAlert #18 will bring. It might be the last time this season to ride deep powder in the larch trees of the Piemonte. This is what you can expect.


  • Today snowfall in the east of Switzerland and the northern Stau regions in Austria

  • Snowfall in the Salzburgerland and Styria till Thursday

  • Most snow around the Dachstein and Hohe Tauern

  • Thursday and Friday a little alert for the Northern Alps East

  • From Friday to Saturday it will start snowing in the French southern Alps and the Piedmont

  • A Genoa-low is being created

  • Sunday and Monday (very) intense snowfall in the complete Italian Piedmont

  • It's deep from Sunday afternoon / evening

  • Deep treeruns in the Piedmont on Monday

This is the credo for the next couple of days:

Thursday and Friday are powder days

The clouds came in between Andermatt and the Dachstein and it's already snowing lightly in some places. Especially around the Dachstein it comes to heavy snowfall. As announces is certainly not super deep and I wouldn't drive all the way to the Alps for it, but if you're around or if you live in the Alps you can certainly ride some powder. Although it's still snowing lightly in the east on Thursday, the largest quantities will come down on Wednesday. You're best on Thursday are the resorts where you can find some larch trees. The regular trees still have their needles and it's quite hard for the snow to fall through. You can find larch trees in a couple of resorts in the:

  • Northern Alps East (especially around Dachstein, but also the Hohe Tauern and around Obertauern)

Snow for the east
Snow for the east

According to the latest calculations the wind will be moderate to firm and especially above the tree line it can provide a lot of fresh drift snow / wind slabs. Please keep that in mind! PA #17 won't be one to remember for a long time, but it's better than nothing. It will stay dry in the north for a while after this alert. It's ON in the south from Saturday. And with ON we really mean ON with two capitals! But if you look today at the pressure distribution on the snow maps today, then you wonder, "Where should the snow come from?"

Low pressure is coming through
Low pressure is coming through

020 millibar and still lots of freshies?

A small depression will break the high-pressure dominance on Friday and then drops down to the Gulf of Genoa (the red line on the map above). The result is a 'low pressure' area that doesn't look that interesting. However...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 Alert status: 200 cm+

The scenario is clear. In the night from Friday to Saturday unstable air is coming in from the northwest. The combination of this instability and the cold air will result in snowfall in the southern French Alps and Piedmont on Friday and Saturday. That's not too bad, but no more than an appetizer. The real fun is yet to come.

Sunday-Tuesday: megadump

In the night to Sunday it really starts. At first in the south of the Piedmont and the French Southern Alps, but later in the day more and more in the rest of the Piedmont. You can expect intense snowfall in the whole Piedmont from Sunday to Tuesday. From Limone Piemonte in the south to Monte Rosa, the Simplon and the western Gotthard it will snow like crazy. Striking is the low snow line which continuously sits between 800 and 1200 meters and locally could be even lower.

Also notable is what our calculation models come up with: local 200 cm and more. And I certainly think that's realistic given the exceptional combination of factors. It is still too early to say exactly where you should be, but you can already block Monday to Wednesday. It's going to be very deep.


There's a PowderAlert for:

I also expect a lot of snow near the border with France (resorts like Isola 2000, Valfrejus etc ..), but because the storm track can change everything the next couple of days, it's too early to make precise statements about that.

More finetuning on Friday!

Stay stoked



  • Baramats
    Baramats op 11 March 2015 · 21:10
    Great to see! We are currently in Cervinia/Zermatt until sunday. Will this Megadump cover this region aswell?
    If so we must rethink our trip back to Torino.
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 12 March 2015 · 12:02
    @Baramats yes. Especially on Monday it will be deep.
    May the powder be with you.


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