Lots of freshies (PA#2), but rising temperatures

By meteomorris on 15 November 2016 · 4

After the cold period at the beginning of November we are on the eve of a strong sirocco (that's a hot wind) from the Sahara. But before the sirocco kicks in we can ride some freshies at the south side of the Alps this weekend. In this forecast:

  • First some rain (and snowfall above 2000-2200 meter)
  • Lots of snow on Friday and Saturday
  • PowderAdvice for the weekend
  • A Föhn wind will kick in on Sunday

First some rain (and snowfall above 2000-2200 meter)

A weak front will gently touch the east of Switzerland and the northern border of Austria on Wednesday. This results in rain below the 2000-2200 meters and snow above that altitude. It is the combination of warm moist air and rain that will influence (read will melt) the existing snow cover on the northern side of the Alps below 1500-1900 meters. That won't happen within a day, but the snow cover will experience some high temperatures. It's not that bad on the south side of the Alps, because it is not raining there and the air is much drier. The weekend fortunately will bring some lower temperatures.

Lots of snow on Friday and Saturday

The current will turn to the southwest during Thursday and it will start to snow on the southern side of the Alps. It will keep on snowing on Friday and the snowfall will intensify from time to time. The cold front will arrive on Saturday and the current on the north side of the Alps will temporarily turn to the northwest. The Alps will end up in a kind of snow sandwich (snow from both the northwest and the southwest). The sun will come out again on Sunday. Right now, I expect the weather to be like this from Thursday:

Western Alps

  • Thursday: Sunny and warm
  • Friday: Snowfall above 1500 meters south of Ecrins and south of the Mont Blanc. Rain up to 2400 meters in other regions.
  • Saturday: Cold air from the northwest arrives in the night to Saturday. Lots of snow above 1800 meters in both the French northern Alps and the Hautes Alps. The sun will come out on Saturday.
  • Sunday: The temperatures will rise again thanks to wind from the southwest

Northern Alps

  • Thursday: Sunny, warm and Föhn
  • Friday: Föhn
  • Saturday: Dropping temperatures and snowfall from the west. The snow line will drop to 800-1200 meter
  • Sunday: Incoming Föhn from the south

Southern Alps

  • Thursday: First precipitation south of the Gotthard and the Engadin with the snow line between 1000 and 1400 meter
  • Friday: Heavy snowfall south of the Mont Blanc, Gotthard and Engadin with the snow line between 1000 and 1400 meter
  • Saturday: Heavy snowfall in the complete Italian Alps with the snow line between 1000 and 1700 meter
  • Sunday: Dry, sunny and warm

PowderAdvice for the weekend

It's only Tuesday, so it's a little early, but you can already start looking around. With the strong Föhn coming up on the north side of the Alps on Sunday, there will be a lot transportation of snow. For this reason, you're probably better of on the southern side of the Alps. The snow cover is still pretty thin on the Diavolezza, but Solda am Ortler and Val Senales are looking pretty good. More details the next couple of days.

A Föhn wind will kick in on Sunday

The jetstream will move to the south from Sunday and this will result in warm air from the northern Sahara is pushed towards the Alps. The Alps will have to deal with that warm wind a couple of days. The north side of the Alps will be much warmer than the south side. The snow line will especially rise on the north side of the main alpine ridge.

Higher temperatures and southern Föhn on the north side of the Alps
Higher temperatures and southern Föhn on the north side of the Alps

Stay stoked. Morris


  • Tomiduplex
    Tomiduplex op 16 November 2016 · 09:10
    Howdy Morris!

    We have a trip planned to Kitzsteinhorn (Kaprun) and riding will be Friday, Sat and Sunday. How bad/good do you believe it will be there? Wind looks bad for Thursday and Friday but I don't think we can hide in the lower elevations because the resorts are not open.

    Thanks and wishing you a bountiful season.

  • Muehlbach
    Muehlbach op 16 November 2016 · 20:27
    @Tomiduplex lots of lower resorts open in the area. Some of them will surely be affected by Föhn but should also get fresh snow, maybe on Sat.

    Resorts already open or opening this week-end:

    Planai-Schladming open since 11.11
    Obertauern open since 12.11
    Hauser Kaibling, Reiteralm, Flachau from 18.11
    Zauchensee, Flauchauwinkl, Kleinarl from 19.11

    All of which not more than an hour away from Kaprun.
    "Skiing is a dance, and the mountain always leads." - - - "There is no skiing without apres-ski. Fairly futile exercise if not followed by getting hammered in a bar."
  • Hummingbird
    Hummingbird op 17 November 2016 · 08:35
    Thank you for updating so frequently, really enjoy your effort! Keep up the good work.

    Just read that "la nina" is real and will probably stick around for at least a couple of months. Lets hope that it will have a positive impact on the alps. Combined with the other signs, I think changes are good for a good winter!

  • Tomiduplex
    Tomiduplex op 21 November 2016 · 09:11
    @Muehlbach Thanks for the info. Much appreciated, Kitzsteinhorn was fun but all the decent snow that landed on Saturday was mostly blown off on Sunday. Still a great start to the season.

    Have a good one!


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