PA#3: After a Stau from the northwest a retour d'est?


By meteomorris on 28 November 2017 · 0

There is a great dynamic in the weather maps which guarantees a week of low temperatures and snowfall in the Alps. An active storm called Thorsten is wedged between a high pressure area above Russia and a high pressure area above the Atlantic Ocean. Thorsten can only send very cold polar air to the south. This results in a cold Stau from the north that lasts for three days and possibly opens the door for a retour d'est in the western and southern Piedmont and even the Apennines. In this forecast:

  • Looking back: 20-45, locally 55 cm of fresh snow
  • Storm Thorsten coming in
  • A very cold northern Stau
  • PA#3 from Thursday
  • A retour d'est after that?

Looking back: 20-45, locally 55 cm of fresh snow

It's been snowing in the French northern Alps, the northern Alps and on the border with Slovenia/Italy/Austria since Saturday. On average around 20-45 cm of fresh snow came down above 1700 meters in these areas, but locally even more. It's only the end of November, but the conditions are already perfect in parts of the northern Alps. Check out the video above 'images say more than words'. Andreas Pieber had first tracks in Montafon. But beware, if you missed PA #2, watching the video can make you jealous. Just like the picture below of our rider Thijs on the Kitzsteinhorn. If you want to update the wePowder community, you can use the PowderQuest app.

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Storm Thorsten coming in

The sun was shining everywhere on Monday, but the clouds were quite stubborn in the east of Austria. The day starts with high clouds today (Tuesday), the first signs of a new storm coming in. The wind turns to the southwest and can be quite strong north of the main alpine ridge and in the Jura from time to time. The wind will calm down when the front arrives in the northwest of the Alps in the afternoon and the beginning of the evening. It starts to snow in the French northern Alps, the west and north of Switzerland and the northwest of the Austrian Vorarlberg.

The snowfall spreads to the rest of the northern Alps in the night to Wednesday. It will also start snowing in the Dolomites and on the border with Slovenia/Italy/Austria. It's a sort of mini snow sandwich. The Alps are wedged by clouds on the south and north of the main alpine ridge and it will snow from time to time. The wind turns to the northwest on Thursday and it will continue to snow on the north side of the Alps. The temperature will drop (it will be very cold) and it will be like that the complete weekend.

Snowfall the next three days
Snowfall the next three days

PA#3 from Thursday

The conditions will be perfect on the northern side of the Alps thanks to the snowfall of the next 3 days and the snow of last weekend, especially because there is still more to come. PA#3 is effective from Thursday afternoon and I will give you some advice for this weekend tomorrow. One of the tips will be Ski Arlberg. They'll open the lifts for the first time on Friday, but I can imagine that most of the runs will be tracked by Saturday. It is going to get crowded in the Arlberg.

A retour d'est after that?

It will be exciting after Thursday. Some calculations show a retour d'est from Friday. The intensity and duration are still a question in the various calculations. Check out the forecast for the Piedmont below, but the colors will change the next couple of days, simply because the models are still shifting. For that reason I don't announce the fourth PowderAlert for the Piedmont yet.

It will stay cold until the beginning of next week. It could be a bit warmer the days after that due to an emerging current from the south. It's still far away, but if you want a powder guarantee you should go out this weekend. The ultra-long term still shows some positive points!

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Stay stoked, Morris


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