PA #10: Some tricky storms!


By meteomorris on 26 February 2017 · 0

PA #9 was pretty good. It wasn't knee deep, it wasn't a classic, but just a nice blanket of snow after a week of rain and mild temperatures. It will be mild again on Sunday and Monday, before Udo I, II and III will come in. The Atlantic ocean is filled with a jumble of storms and fronts, which will head towards the Alps on Monday afternoon. PowderAlert #10 is coming up, but it won't be the easiest PowderAlert of the season. In this forecast:

  • Mild temperatures and hazy skies in the northern Alps
  • A new storm is on its way
  • Lots of snowfall on Tuesday
  • Wednesday will be a powder day!
  • Mild temperatures on Thursday (again)
  • Snow for the southern Alps next week?

Mild temperatures and hazy skies in the northern Alps

Saturday was a good day west of the Arlberg and in central Switzerland. It wasn't that crowded and 15-30 cm of fresh snow is enough to ride some nice lines, especially when the sun is out. Unfortunately, the temperatures were rising during the day and that won't be any different on Sunday and Monday. Sunday will be a day with hazy skies. The remains of a front graze the north side of the Alps and the clouds high in the sky (which will get thicker during the day) won't improve the visibility. Add some high temperatures to receipe and you'll understand that Sunday won't be the best day of the season. It will be sunny in the west and south of the Alps, but those regions didn't get any fresh snow.

The temperatures will be even higher on Monday (thanks to the current turning south), but the first clouds will come in at the end of the day. Those clouds will bring lots of fresh snow to the French southern Alps and the resorts south of the Gotthard.

Storm Udo arrives in Europe
Storm Udo arrives in Europe

Lots of snowfall on Tuesday

The Alps will get stuck in a 'snow sandwich' on Tuesday. It's snowing in the south, it's snowing in the west and it will start snowing in the north later as well. The snow line will be quite high (1400-1600 m) at first and will remain at that altitude in the northeast of Italy and southern Austria for a while. It will drop rapidly to 1000 meter or even lower in the western Alps. You can expect the most snow to come down south of the Piz Bernina (the southwest of the Swiss Engadine, Ticino, northern Lombardy) and in the French Alps (especially west of the Mont Blanc and Belledonne). The bordering regions will benefit as well (northern and western Hautes Alpes, northwestern Aosta and western Lower Valais). The snowfall (and lower temperatures) will expand to the north side of the Alps on Tuesday afternoon/evening and in the night to Wednesday.

Wednesday will be a powder day!

After a lot of snow on Tuesday it will keep on snowing on the north side of the Alps on Wednesday. The unstable and cold air from the north will bring low temperatures and it will snow from time to time. But there is also some room for the sun. That is definitely the case on the southern side of the Alps. It's still pretty cold and the sun will be shining, so Wednesday will be the best day of the week. I'd go to one of the regions I mentioned above, but I'll give you more details later this week.

Don't think you'll have plenty of time. A new warm front will hit the Alps in the night to Thursday according to the latest calculations. The snow line will rise again, the temperatures will rise again.... ah well, you know what will happen.

Mild temperatures on Thursday (again)

The current will turn to the southwest and warm air will arrive in the Alps again. You'll have to search for powder.

Snow for the southern Alps next week?

But that current from the south also offers some perspective. There's a chance of snowfall for the southern Alps. We'll see what will happen. It's not clear what the exact timing of the various fronts will be, that might shift the next couple of days. But if I had to block one day this week, Wednesday would be the day!

Stay stoked. Morris


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