PA#15: Snow for the southern Alps. And it's topped with cold powder!

By meteomorris on 23 March 2017 · 4

It's snowing again in the Alps (and the Pyrenees). A front passed the Alps in the night to Wednesday and the current turned to the south. It started snowing (and it's still snowing) heavily around the Gotthard region. It will keep on snowing heavily in the southern Alps the next couple of days and the center of gravity will shift from the Gotthard region towards the western Piedmont. The snow line will be between 1600 and 2000 meters at first. Saturday will be a great day in Andermatt. But it will get even better, because the snow line will drop on Sunday. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will be powder days. In this forecast:

  • Snow for the southern Alps: lots of snow for the Gotthard region
  • Snow for the southern Alps: lots of snow for the western Piedmont
  • Cold powder coming down from Sunday
  • PowderAlert for Saturday until Tuesday

Storm Gregor
Storm Gregor

Snow for the southern Alps: lots of snow for the Gotthard region

An active depression over Spain fuels a strong current from the south. It already snowed south of the Gotthard on Wednesday and you can expect more snow to come down the next couple of hours. You can expect between 40-120 cm above 2200 meters between the Simplon pass in the west and the Lukmanierpass in the easy till Thursday night.

Alpe Devoro
Alpe Devoro

San Domenico
San Domenico

Bosco Gurin
Bosco Gurin


Already more than 1 meter of fresh snow
Already more than 1 meter of fresh snow

Check out the images from this morning above. You can already ride powder above 2000 meters and that will only get better the next couple of days.

Current turns to the east
Current turns to the east

Snow for the southern Alps: lots of snow for the western Piedmont

The current will start to turn from the south to southeast - east during Thursday. The center of gravity of the precipitation will shift from the Gotthard, via the Gran Paradiso towards the Mont Viso. In resorts that's from Andermatt/Airolo via Champorcher towards Sestrière. The snow line will be between 1600 and 2000 meters. Dry snow will only come down above 2100 meters or higher. Even the French Southern Alps can expect a lot of precipitation on Thursday, but it's too warm at first over there and the precipitation will fall as rain up to high altitude.

Another depression is approaching from the southwest on Saturday. This depression will bring snow in the French Southern Alps first and temporarily some mild air to the Piedmont, but it will bring snow later. The Gotthard region can expect some sunny spells and Saturday might a great day in Andermatt with lots of fresh snow and sunshine. The precipitation will expand again later. It's not really cold, but the cold air is on its way.

Cold air (green) coming in from the east
Cold air (green) coming in from the east

Cold powder coming down from Sunday

If the calculations are correct (and it looks like they are), a lot of cold air will come in from the east in the night to Sunday (and maybe even sooner). The snow that came down from Wednesday to Saturday will be topped with a layer of cold blower powder. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will be awesome days!

PowderAlert #15 for Saturday until Tuesday

You can ride powder above 2000 meters on Saturday. The conditions in Andermatt will be pretty good! Sunday will be an interesting and probably a transition day, but it's ON like Donkey Kong from Monday. I expect that the conditions in Sestrière will be awesome. But don't book your accommodation yet. I'll give you some more tips the next couple of days.

Stay stoked. Morris


  • Puderskalle
    Puderskalle op 23 March 2017 · 12:31
    On a plane down to Milan to pick up a rental car.
    Unfortunately we were too early with booking accommodation, and we now have Fri-Sun in Zermatt.
    Then we will probably follow your advice and head south-west.
    Looks like Zermatt got no snow last night while Andermatt got 90cm!
    Do you think there is any hope that Zermatt gets some snow until Friday/Saturday morning, as the weather system shifts to the west? Thanks!
  • tarekbayazid
    tarekbayazid op 23 March 2017 · 13:50
    Morris, thanks a lot. Based on the above, I want to pull the trigger on flights to Zurich to go session Andermatt this weekend. However looking at the radar, it looks like Andermatt stops getting snow tonight. Your radar is saying the same thing as the other sites.

    Isn't Andermatt going to get all tracked out tomorrow, and then Saturday we'll just be fighting for scraps? Please let me know if you think the forecasts are off, and there'll be fresh tracks on a Saturday. I appreciate that storms from the south can often play games with the various models, and a place like Andermatt in particular is hard to forecast because it gets hit from so many directions.

    Thanks a ton!
  • ecsjones
    ecsjones op 23 March 2017 · 15:52
    i have the same question/concern as the above. it looks like places south of Andermatt are going to get smoked this weekend with, champoluc area but my concern there is its going to rain down low....and on the flip side, andermatt will be crushed tomorrow and tracked by 2pm. any intel on snow track and snow line would be EXCELLENT....
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 24 March 2017 · 14:02
    @Puderskalle yes, Zermatt is getting snow. The Italian side is getting more though.
    @tarekbayazid @ecsjones sorry for the delay. I was on the road. Andermatt will be good today and even on Saturday there is still powder to be found. There is no new snow on the radar, but sun is expected on Saturday.

    In the Monte Rosa area I would skip Champoluc and focus on the Alagna-Gressoney area. Way more snow.
    Check also my forecast of today with some hints where to go:
    May the powder be with you.


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