Last Thursday it was still a watch status. By now it has become an alert status. PA #20 is in the making and some regions profit already today from the small window of PA #19. That #19 would't be super deep was known before.
PA #18 Aftermath
Especially if you just experienced PA #18, PA #19 wasn't that big at all. I was in the western Piedmont during PA #18 and the riding was awesome. But not only there. Check out the beautiful images and edi of #18 from the Monte Rosa region (thanks to Thomas Jensen for driving down there, tracing the powder, film, and sharing it with us. The life of a powder rider does not suck).
PA #19 Aftermath
Still, it's nice to read the stoke of PA #19 in the reports. It certainly was not that deep, but as the saying goes: you have to appreciate ankle deep dumps to be worth the nipple deep ones. It is the end of March, the season is slowly coming to an end. The windows for an alert are getting more narrow and therefore flexibility and acting quickly is a basic condition to score powder. A day too late can mean that you can throw some lemonade on the snow, stick a straw in and have the most delicious slush puppy. The sun gets stronger by the day. Remember that.
PA #20 Alert status
The models just keep on changing. According to GFS it will be (too) warm, but with lots of precipitation. ECMWF looks less pessimistic and expect orographic cooling and that the snow line will drop deep into the vallleys. In any case, both models agree that it will snow. But will it be cold enough for some tree runs?
In the night from Wednesday it starts to snow in the Italian Piedmont. The snowfall will spread during Wednesday. Deep into the main alpine ridge, but it will also snow north and west of the main alpine ridge. Less cold air and a stronger low pressure area than during PA #18 are the cause that the clouds can cross the main alpine ridge. Because this comes into contact with cold air, the moist air is forced to condense and it will start snowing there as well. Details will shift the next few hours, but there is an alert for:
Southern Alps West (Wednesday)
Southern Alps Central (Wednesday and Thursday: especially between Monte Rosa and Gotthard)
Western Alps Central (Thursday: especially Valfréjus, Val Cenis and Bonneval sur Arc)
Western Alps North (Thursday: only Saas Fee and Zermatt)
PA #21 Northern stau Watch Status
Last Thursday the models were hinting already and it just keeps coming back in the calculations. From this weekend a north west stau could finally penetrate the Alps. All still far away and it might just be too late for the weekend warriors. But there is now a WatchStatus for the north(west) of the Alps for Saturday-Monday (especially Monday). Possible that high temperatures at the end of this snow event will force you to go high into the mountains (it's the end of March;)) and tree runs won't be rideable. More details later this week.