A new website, a new winter, new opportunities. Let's start with the new website. We knew we could do better and we started working on the new version of wePowder. You can read more about the new website here, but let's talk about the weather. And more important, let's talk about the winter to come.
A new winter
It's September first today, the start of meteorological Autumn. We're getting ready for winter 15-16 and it's time for the first long-term predictions. We'll present one on Wednesday that offers some great perspectives. Wednesday we present offers a very beautiful view.
The last snow in the Alps dates from the middle of August, but a look at the glaciers says enough. There is a lot of snow needed in the coming months before we can make our first powder turns. Fortunately, there is snow on the way. A great test for our weather model and our forecast page.
A small and viciously low pressure area settles in the North Sea and a northern current is getting ready between this low pressure area and a high pressure area west of the British Isles. At first, the position of this current is too far in the northeast to bring really cold air to the Alps.
Current too far northeast
Looking at both the numbers 1 to 5 on the forecast list and the snow forecast map for Wednesday, you can see something notably. We don't see that much colour on the map and still there is snow in the forecast. A second glance tells you that these are all high-altitude areas and if you have another look at the forecast you see the warning for a high snow line. The snow will only come down on the highest peaks and the chance that it will remain there is close to zero.
We see the same image on the ensemble below. At the first red asterisk (lots of precipitation) you can immediately see that the snow line is at very high altitude. The temperature drops a bit, but not enough for snow below 3000 meters.
Colder and warmer
But if we have a look again at the ensemble above you will see a second red asterisk and a temperature already significantly lower (see the descending blue line). This snow will make the peaks look white again. The reason for this is that the jet stream now succeeds to bring cold(er) air to the Alps on Friday, causing the snow line to drop temporarily towards 2000 meters and lower.
Jetstream from the north
Let's check the 8-day forecast according to our weather model. Let's have a look at the number one of the list, the Stubaital in Austria. You can see the temperature drop (the blue line) and the two snow events, (the red stars) are also visible. That looks like this.
When I extend the forecast on the resort page of the Stubaital, you can see the forecast for Monday and Tuesday, which clearly shows that the temperature will rise again (the orange line in the ensemble above).
Conclusion: The first test of our weather model was successful. It warned for a high snow line, causing the little snow that will fall on the highest peaks on Wednesday will instantly melt. If we have a look more in detail, we see that the snowfall on Friday will reach the peaks.
So, is this new weather model the perfect replacement for me? No, weather models become unreliable on the long term. Especially when there's a lot of movement in the upper air. At such moments I am there to indicate the weather for you, because a written text will help you during these moments of uncertainty.
And now? Have a look at the webcams on Saturday and start dreaming of winter 15/16. For now it's still a no go. Click around the new website, share your experiences with us and refresh your knowledge to make sure you're ready when it really starts snowing.