PA#3 and PA#4: where to go!

By meteomorris on 29 November 2017 · 9

It is November 29th and we are already on our way to PowderAlert #3 ánd PowderAlert #4. The videos above and below were shot during PowderAlert #2 on the Kitzsteinhorn in Kaprun. They clearly show how good the conditions in the Northern Alps are at the moment. These starts of the season were quite normal at the beginning of the century, but four PowderAlerts feel quite exceptional. Let's hope the winters will be like this the next ten years.

PowderAlerts #3 and #4 are coming up. It gets cold, there is a lot of snow in the forecast and there is already a good base in parts of the Alps. In short, it's a perfect weekend for your first powder turns. In this forecast:

  • North(west)stau until Thursday
  • PA#3 where to go?
  • Snow for the southern Alps from Friday
  • PA#4 where to go?
  • Long term: shifting forecasts

North(west)stau until Thursday

A north-western current from the northwest pushes front after front to the Alps until Friday morning. The snow line is still around 500 to 800 meters today, but will drop very deep into the lowest valleys on Thursday.

Snowfall until Friday morning
Snowfall until Friday morning

You can expect around 15-40 cm, locally 50 cm of feather-light snow up to Friday morning. The most snow will come down in the pre-Alps (and less snow will come down in the main alpine ridge) because of the low temperatures and the direction of the fronts. It is getting very cold. Check out the plume forecast for Lausanne below. Lausanne is situated at an altitude of 429 meters above sea level. If the predictions are correct then it will probably be -12 degrees Celcius. And it probably won't be any warmer than minus 10 degrees on Saturday and Sunday. So yeah, it's cold.

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PA#3 where to go?

The intensity of the precipitation will decrease on the northern side of the main alpine ridge after Friday. There's some room for the sun, but that is not yet certain. Clear nights provide very cold early mornings, but an advantage is that you can still ride powder on sunny south-facing slopes and that's truly unique for the time of the year. Check out my tips for the best regions where you can ride great powder from Thursday to Friday:

But it is only the beginning of the season and not all ski areas have opened their lifts. Check out the list of ski areas that are open or will open soon below. Click on the link to go to the resort page for a more detailed weather forecast, webcams, the local avalanche forecast and accommodation options.

Switzerland, Zentralschweiz

Switzerland, Berner Oberland/Vaude

Switzerland, Ostschweiz

Switzerland, Graubünden

Austria, Vorarlberg

The conditions are good above 1200 to 1500 meter in the resorts below:

Austria, Carinthia

  • Nassfeld (A couple of lifts will open on Saturday)


You can also ride powder in the regions and resorts below:

Austria, Salzburgerland

The resorts close to the Hohe Tauern already had a good amount of snow and more snow is expected on Thursday. The snow cover is still pretty thin in the resorts at lower altitudes.

Austria, Styria

There are large amounts of snow above 1200 meters in the resorts south of the Totes Gebirge.


Austria, Tyrol

The conditions aren't as good in Tyrol as the are in the other regions (except on the glaciers and St. Anton am Arlberg). Fieberbrunn could be an option, but the snow cover is still pretty thin.

Snow for the southern Alps from Friday

A storm depression forms south of the main alpine ridge after Thursday. The air is cold, the wind is turning east to southeast, the relatively warm Mediterranean sea provides enough moisture and the result is snowfall south of the main alpine ridge. A strong current from the east brings cold and humid air to the Po-valley from the Adriatic Sea, and it will start to snow heavily. The exact path of the storm path is not known yet, so it's still a bit of a guess where most of the snow will come down as is the timing of the storm.

It will snow heavily in the Italian Piedmont, the southeast of the Dolomites and the Apennines from Friday. Fresh snow quantities of 50 to 100 cm are possible between Friday morning and Saturday evening. But it has not really snowed for ages in large parts of these regions. Nevertheless, Sunday will be a good powder day. Have a look at our snow maps for the Piedmont for more details.

PA#4 where to go?

The storm path can still shift, so the resorts below might be subject to change. I expect to give you more details tomorrow. Keep in mind that the base is hard and therefore a lot of snow is needed to make it feel soft. The ski areas below are therefore still SUBJECT TO CHANGE and the PowderAlert is only valid from Sunday:

Long term: shifting forecasts

The Alps will be part of the kingdom of King Winter until the beginning of next week. After that the temperatures will rise a bit, but the question is for how long. The maps show a lot of dynamcis, so basically everything can happen (from a warm current from the south to the return of low temperatures from the north). We'll see what we can expect next week in the coming days. Until then, wax up! PowderAlerts #3 and #4 are in effect!

Stay stoked, Morris


  • zechariahhahn
    zechariahhahn op 30 November 2017 · 02:33
    Why is Livigno dodging all the snow?
  • K36
    K36 op 30 November 2017 · 07:55
    Yes. Exactly that I have been wondering also?
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 30 November 2017 · 11:25
    @zechariahhahn @K36 we haven't seen a major storm moving in from the southwest to south so far. They get most of their snow from fronts that move in from the southwest.
    May the powder be with you.
  • engyaw
    engyaw op 30 November 2017 · 12:19
    Snow has been elusive for Cervinia and Zermatt too! Same reason too?
  • K36
    K36 op 30 November 2017 · 13:32
    I was rather wondering if there has been somekind of "microclimate" around Livigno since
    it seem that the last norhern storms has brought at least some snow around Livigno in all directions.
    It is like a lightblue spot with darkblue and pink round it....?

    *message edited by K36 op 30 Nov 2017 13:42 (2% bewerkt)
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 30 November 2017 · 16:12
    @engyaw, the same applies sort of for Cervinia and Zermatt. Storms from the North are blocked by the Swiss Alpennordhang (with Mountains like the Eiger etc...). Cervinia and Zermatt need storm from the west with fronts moving in from southwest to west.

    @K36 Livigno is what we call a inner alpine region. It has for sure a local micro climate (which conserves snow for a long period), but due to is position (deep into the Alps) only certain stormtracks will bring the jackpot. The storms of the opcoming days do not enter the Alps with a western or south western angle. Therefor no big snow for the moment.
    May the powder be with you.
  • K36
    K36 op 30 November 2017 · 17:55
    Ok. Thank you for good answer and great site.
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 30 November 2017 · 18:22
    @K36, you're welcome!
    May the powder be with you.
  • engyaw
    engyaw op 1 December 2017 · 05:13
    Thanks so much for the reply!!


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