Go out on a tour in the west or wait for the Russian Bear!


By meteomorris on 11 March 2016 · 0

A lot of snow came down in large parts of the Alps between Friday and Tuesday. Especially the snowfall in the northwest on Tuesday was the icing on the cake. I was on a roadtrip in Switzerland and we had great powder in Engelberg (without the crowds). If you missed this dump, well.... you missed something. Start exploring the resorts I visited (Gstaad, Mürren and Engelberg) this week and ride some great powder yourself next time! Anyway, there will be plenty of chances to ride powder. You can go out on a tour or hike a little bit to ride some freshies, but if you're not into that you'll just have to wait for Russian Bear that will bring cold air back to the Alps. If you are traveling to the Alps the next couple of days and you want to support wePowder and this forecast, book your accommodation using this link. We receive a small percentage of every booking made through this link and this helps us a lot to improve wePowder and advice you even better. Thanks in advance! In this forecast:

  • Touring in the west, clouds in the east
  • PowderAdvice for the next couple of days
  • Long term: the Russian Bear is on its way
  • PowderAlert #12 on its way?

Great conditions in Mürren on Thursday
Great conditions in Mürren on Thursday

Touring in the west, clouds in the east

It's getting hard to find untracked powder close to the slopes and the lifts. You have to earn your turns. Hiking and splitting will get you to untracked powder. The best location to go for a hike is the west of the Alps. The sun is shining over there. The east of the Alps will get covered by clouds during Friday.

Sun in the west, clouds in the east
Sun in the west, clouds in the east

The current pressure distribution over the Alps is the cause of the clouds in the eastern Alps. The jet stream has been put on hold, which allowed a powerful high pressure area to form over Scandinavia, and formed a storm depression over the Mediterranean sea. Just in the middle, the current from the east is forming and this will bring warmer air at first. The snowline fluctuates between 400 and 1000 meters and you can expect 5-20 centimeters in northern Salzburg and Styria between Friday and Sunday. The wind form the northeast is pretty strong from time to time and could cause some wind-drifted snow.

Current from the east
Current from the east

The first clouds will arrive in the Italian Piemont on Saturday and a flake or two might come down in the southern and western Piedmont during the weekend. Nothing special, but it definitely will limit your visibility.

PowderAdvice for the next couple of days

No significant snowfall this weekend, but there might be a chance that the snowfall around Hochkar will be more intense than expected. But the most important thing about the weather this weekend is the fact that the resorts east of Innsbruck will have to deal with clouds and a single flake (just like the Italian Piemonte), and that there will be less clouds west of Innsbruck. You'll have to be at high altitude though, because the valleys will be filled with clouds and you'll get above the clouds from 1200 - 1600 meters. You will be rewarded with sunshine and beautiful powder on north faces. All this leads to the following advice for the next few days. Explore the backcountry in the following regions:

There's a big chance that the clouds will be a dealbraker in the other resorts. Go out with a mountain guide this weekend if you don't have that much experience. You'll definitely find powder on north faces. And always carry an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe!

Long term: the Russian Bear is on its way

I mentioned the Russian bear (extremely cold air from the east) earlier this week. Well, it's coming. The jet stream comes to a stop and arctic air is supplied with a current that's coming from northeastern Siberia. The temperatures will drop after Monday. The temperatures in the valleys will only hardly reach degrees above Celsius and it's simply pretty cold east of the Alps.

Cold air from the northeast
Cold air from the northeast

PowderAlert #12 on its way?

The Italian Po-valley is getting filled with moist air. When this moist air from the Mediterranean mixes with the cold air from the east, than this could lead to PowderAlert #12. It's not sure yet, but you better be ready for it. If you want to book your accommodation: support wePowder and use this link. Thanks to everyone who already made a booking!

Stay stoked!
Morris


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