Which resorts get the biggest dumps?

By meteomorris on 20 October 2015 · 0

After answering the question 'where in the Alps falls the most snow?', I'll try to answer the question which resorts get the biggest dumps in 24 hours. If you've been following my PowderAlerts for a while, than the map below probably won't surprise you.

After answering the question where the most snow comes down in the Alps, I started looking for more anwers. That search started with the research from Isotta, F.A. et al from 2014. As an outcome they published a map with the regions in the Alps that normally get the most precipitation in 24 hours. That map was my starting point. I've plotted it on a Google Map and the result looks like this:

This is where, on average, falls the most precipitation in 24 hours
This is where, on average, falls the most precipitation in 24 hours

When you have a look at the map above, two regions stand out. The region south of Andermatt and the region east of Forni di Sopra and Nassfeld. Regions where they are quite used to get around 180 mm of rain in 24 hours. That's almost two meters of snow if it's cold enough.

It's also notable that the dark spots are visible south of the main alpine ridge. Are that the regions where you can find the biggest dumps? No. But it's true that the biggest dumps come down south of the main alpine ridge. It doesn't snow as frequent as north of the main alpine ridge, but when it snows, it's very intense. The explanation is quite logical. Most depressions choose a course north of the Alps, making most fronts with precipitation pass north of the main alpine ridge. But because the depressions from the south always pick up a generous portion of moist air from the relatively warm Mediterranean the dumps there are quite intense. Logical, right?

South of the Gotthard
South of the Gotthard

That the region south of the Gotthard can get a lot of snow is no suprise for the regular follower of my forecasts. Last year I announced 5 meters of snow in a short time for that region. Well, the snow line was pretty high early November, but there was a lot of snow at high altitude. But pretty often it snows deep into the valleys. It's no secret that villages like Airolo, San Domenico and Bosco Gurin regularly drown in snow. The legendary images that the Absinthe crew shot for the film Neverland showed the amazing location to riders from all over Europe. It simply snows in the south. Or it simply doesn't. It's almost philosophical.

The border with Italy and Slovenia
The border with Italy and Slovenia

A second and lesser known region is the region on the border with Italy, Austria and Slovenia. Record snowfall is measured here every once in a while as well.

Do the maps above explain it all?

No. It concerns the average precipitation measured over a full year. The warm rain that falls in the summer months is also shown on the map above. But are the influences of the season that big? And are there different locations in the Alps that often get hammered that hard? Yes and no. I found more awesome maps and data and I am going to share them with you next week.

Do you have data and images of historical dumps?

You and I been travelling through the Alps for a while. Maybe you have some pictures of massive snowfall? Share them in the comments. Mention the location, preferably also the year and the approximate date and the amount of fresh snow that came down. In order to make it complete, I also like to hear from you how much time (approximately) it took for the snow to come down.


You need to be logged in to post a comment in this topic. Login or create an account.

Upgrade to wepowder Pro

  • Extended 14 day forecast
  • Slope angle and exposition terrain layers
  • Inspirational freeride routes
wePowder Pro