PA #12: Let's go to the Piedmont!


By meteomorris on 14 March 2016 · 0

I was writing the following before the weekend: 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. 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. And that's exactly what's going to happen. According to our snow maps we can expect knee deep powder, but I'm a bit more optimistic. It will snow heavily in the Italian Piemonte between Tuesday night and Thursday morning. Too bad that the temperatures will rise after the dump, but it looks like that it will be cold enough to ride some powder between the trees. Especially on Wednesday the snow will be cold and dry. You can definitely ride some great powder from Wednesday to Friday in the Piedmont. 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:

  • The Russian Bear is visiting the Alps
  • Arctic air + moisture from the Mediteranean = PA #12
  • PowderAdvice: Piedmont!
  • Can we ride powder during Easter?

Koude lucht (groen) vanuit het oosten
Koude lucht (groen) vanuit het oosten

The Russian Bear is visiting the Alps

I was talking about 'the Russian Bear' (cold air from the east) last week. The jetstream kinda came to a stop and cold arctic air is coming in from Siberia with an east-northeastern current. It will reach the Alps on Monday evening and the temperatures will drop. The temperatures probably be below Celsius in the valleys from Tuesday. Winter is back for a while.

Green is cold air. Blue is moist air.
Green is cold air. Blue is moist air.

Arctic air + moisture from the Mediteranean = PA #12

That easterly current is filling the Po valley with cold air and at the same time humid air is sucked in from the Mediterranean. You can see this combination on the map above. Green is cold and blue is humid and this results in PA #12. Especially since the eastern current pushes the humid air against the huge peaks on the border of the Italian and French Alps. It will snow heavily. PowderAlert # 2 is therefore a fact and we can start the countdown. I expect around 30-70 cm of freshies, locally even slightly more. Significant amounts of snow will come down above 1500 meters altitude, but because the snow line will drop to around 400 meters on Wednesday morning it will be slippery on the roads to the ski resorts. You'd better arrive on Tuesday evening. It will start snowing in the morning and you'll probably won't feel the old hard layer anymore in the afternoon. Thursday morning will be very nice with lots of freshies and some sunshine. The temperature will rise on southern faces on Thursday, but western and northern faces will stay in good condition. You'll have to search for powder on north faces and in the trees on Friday.

PowderAdvice: Piedmont!

The northeast of the Alps will get some snow in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. Expect around 5-20 cm, locally even 30 cm. Nothing compared to the Piedmont, but it's better than nothing. The advice for the next couple of days is clear: arrive on Tuesday evening in the western Piedmont, the day won't start deep on Wednesday, but the condition of the tree runs will improve during the day and Thursday will be very good (with some sunshine). Same story for Friday, but you'll have to search a bit more. Three days of riding powder. The weekend will be dry and sunny, so you'll have to start hiking or touring to find some freshies.

If you want to go out on a tour in the Alps the next couple of days, it becomes increasingly difficult. You'll have to deal with lots of clouds on Tuesday and Wednesday. The visibility isn't that good and it will snow. The sun will come out again on Thursday. Go out with a mountain guide if you don't have that much experience. And always carry an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe!

Freshies on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in:

Recent glide snow avalanche in France
Recent glide snow avalanche in France

Can we ride powder during Easter?

The conditions are normally better during Easter than during Christmas and let's hope that we can ride some powder during Easter again this year. The signals are good. The major weather models hint on a north to northwesterly current for next week, which would mean that the next PowderAlert will be for the Northern Alps. Well, this is all still far away, but we will follow it closely the next couple of days.

Happy powder chasing in the Piedmont. 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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