Storm Udo is on his way to the Alps and that means you can get ready for some interesting weather. Let's hope the lifts won't close because of the heavy wind. The weather will be pretty mild in the Alps on Monday, before Udo will hit the Alps. PowderAlert #10 will deliver deep powder, but it won't be easy. In this forecast:
High clouds came in on Monday. This not only resulted in some bad visibility, but because of the mild temperatures and the sun that's getting stronger it basicly soaked the snow cover. The clouds disappeared in the night from Sunday to Monday and Monday will start with sunshine at the peaks. The current from the south is getting stronger, the weather is mild again and the first clouds arrive at the end of the day. This will result in snowfall in the French southern Alps and south of the Gotthard.
If you visit the Alps more often, you can't deny it's been a dramatic winter so far. There is far too little snow. January was [a very cold month in the Alps](http://www.zamg.ac.at/cms/de/klima/news/einer-der-zwei-kaeltesten-jaenner-monate-seit- 30 jahren), but if there's no snow, well.... The snow cover in the Alps is 40% to 70% thinner than normal. I'd prefer winter 15/16. That wasn't that good either (and pretty warm), but a lot of precipitation came down from January and there was a decent snow cover above 2000 meters. That's not the case right now, even with a huge storm approaching.
The storm will hit the Alps on Tuesday. There's a strong Föhn from the south in the northern Alps in the morning, but the western and southern Alps will already get a lot of snow by then. The snow line will be quite high (1400-1600 m) at first and it won't drop in the northeast of Italy and the south of Austria for a while. In the western Alps however, the snow line will rapidly drop to 1000 meters or even lower.
The most snow will fall south of the Gotthard massif, the Piz Bernina and the Ortler massif (southwest Engadine, Ticino, northern Lombardy) and in the French Alps (especially west of Mont Blanc, the Belledonne and the northern and western Hautes Alpes) in the beginning of the storm. The bordering regions (northwest Valley, western Lower Valais and the Vaude) will also benefit. The snowfall extends to the boundary between Carinthia and Italy where it will snow heavily later on Tuesday. The snowfall (and low temperatures) will extend to the northern Alps in the night to Wednesday. Talking about a snow sandwich!
After a lot of snowfall on Tuesday, you can still expect some snowfall on the north side of the Alps on Wednesday. The unstable and cold air from the north will bring some low temperatures and you can expect some heavy winds especially in the northern Alps and in the main alpine ridge, but there is also room for the sun. The sun will definitely shine on the southern side of the Alps. Wednesday will be the best powder day, thanks to the cold air and (lots of) fresh snow. My advice would be to go to the regions below:
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The current will turn to the southwest and warm air will arrive in the Alps again, but there will still be some fresh snow coming down.
But that current from the south also offers some perspective. There's a chance of snowfall for the southern Alps during the weekend. We'll see what will happen.
Stay stoked. Morris