Southern Stau: up to 150 cm of freshies


By meteomorris on 17 November 2016 · 0

There is plenty of snow in the air, but in contrast to the first cold half of November the snow line will be a bit higher. The temperatures are positive on the north side of the Alps, but the southern side of the Alps will get lots of snow in the high alpine the next couple of days. In this forecast:

  • High temperatures at the north side of the Alps
  • The jet stream will turn to the south the next 7 days
  • Dropping temperatures during the weekend
  • Lots of snow on the south side of the Alps and Föhn on the north side of the Alps

High temperatures at the north side of the Alps

Warm arrived from the west on Wednesday. It was still dry and cold in the morning, but the temperature started rising in the evening and there was more moisture in the air. That was even stronger more to the east. It started raining at an altitude of 2000 meters and the snowpack at that altitude got soaked.

Kleinwalsertal on Tuesday
Kleinwalsertal on Tuesday

Kleinwalsertal on Thursday morning
Kleinwalsertal on Thursday morning

The conditions are still pretty good above 2100 - 2300 meters, but below that altitude the snowpack starts melting thanks to warm and humid air.

The jet stream will turn to the south the next 7 days

Next week will be pretty warm in the Alps, after the cold first half of November. That has to do with the location of the jetstream. It meanders over Europe the next couple of days. The cold air is mainly located west of the British Isles and the warm air can arrive from the south of Europe.

Storm with cold air from the west and warm air from the east
Storm with cold air from the west and warm air from the east

The Alps will have to deal with a current from the south next week.

Dropping temperatures during the weekend

The current will turn to the southwest during Thursday and it will start to snow on the southern side of the Alps. This will continue on Friday and a cold front will arrive during the day. The current will temporarily turn to the northwest on the north side of the Alps and the Alps will get in some kind of a snow sandwich (snow coming from the northwest and the southwest). Sunday starts sunny, but it will start snowing in the southern French Alps and the northwest of Italy during the day. The north side of the Alps will experience a strong Föhn wind from the south.

Lots of snow on the south side of the Alps and Föhn on the north side of the Alps

The temperature will go up in the Alps from Sunday. An exception is the south side of the Alps where it might snow above 1200 - 1400 meters. A strong current from the south brings some warm air, but thanks to the Stau at the south side of the Alps it will snow heavily and the temperatures will drop. The video below shows that the Alps have to deal with warm air, but there are cold temperatures (blue sports) on the south side of the Alps.

The combination of Stau from the south and lots of moisture results in lots of snow between Sunday and Tuesday. First it will snow above 1400 meters, but the snow line will go up to 1800-2000 meters on Tuesday. You can find dry snow above 2200 meters. The temperature might rise even more after the passage of the front on Tuesday. No PowderAlert, but plenty of snow for the high alpine at the south side of the Alps.

TIP: Check out this article about where in the Alps falls the most snow

The forecast for the next few days looks like this:

Western Alps

  • Thursday: Warm and sunny
  • Friday: Snowfall above 1500 meters south of the 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 until Tuesday: expect a strong wind from the southwest and it will start raining on Sunday (snowfall above 1800 - 2000 meters). The snow line might drop temporarily south of the Ecrins, but I expect it to rise again later next week.

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 until Tuesday: 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: Lots of snow in the northwest of Italy from Sunday afternoon/evening. The snow line will be around 1200-1400 meters, but will rise up to 1800 - 2000 meters from Tuesday.

Stay stoked. Morris


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