PA #17: snowfall in the southeast/east and later in the southwest of the Alps

By meteomorris on 20 February 2018 · 6

The weather in the Alps is determined by storm Sabine the next couple of days. High pressure north of the Alps directs storms from the west either towards the far north, or towards the Mediterranean Sea to create some instability over there. With such a pressure distribution there is no snow in the forecast for the west and northwest the next couple of days. There's no supply from the west and all eyes are on storm Sabine.

Sabine is pushing humid air with an eastern current (see the blue arrows) to the eastern flanks of the Alps. We're talking about the northeast and southeast of Austria, the Alpa Adria and the northeast of Italy. The Po-valley will also be filled with clouds later this week and it will start snowing in the western and southern Piedmont as well. If you want to ride fresh snow you should be in the eastern Alps first, but you'll find some good conditions in the western and especially the southern Piedmont as well later this week. In this forecast:

  • More sun in the west, bigger chances of snow in the east
  • A lot of snow in the (south)east of the Alps and the Apennines from Wednesday
  • Snow in the forecast for the Piedmont towards the weekend

More sun in the west, bigger chances of snow in the east

The pictures above are from Courchevel (above) and the Weissensee (below). Both were shot this morning. The sun is coming in the west and this part of the Alps will be dominated by sun and blue skies the coming days. It snowed in the southeast yesterday and last night. There is some room for the sun today, but the clouds will kick in on Wednesday and it will start snowing again. You'll have to go to the northwest and west for the sun and to the southeast of the Alps for fresh snow.

A lot of snow in the (south)east of the Alps and the Apennines from Wednesday

Sabine will really kick in from Wednesday. She sucks up moist air from the Adriatic sea, while it is mixed with cold air that is coming from Siberia. These types of air mix above the Balkans and it will start snowing in the Alpe Adria, the east of Carinthia and the east of Steiermark. And because the current still has a east-northeast component, it will also snow a bit in the northernmost regions of Salzburgerland, Tyrol and Styria, as in the Hohe Tauern.

The current is turning more to the east-southeast on Wednesday and the center of gravity shifts to the southeast of the Alps and the Apennines. You can expect a lot of snow in the southeast of Slovenia and on the border of Styria, Carinthia and Slovenia. And do not forget the Apennines. The snowfall will move further into the Alps on Thursday and it will also snow heavily on the east side of the Alpe Adria.

PowderAlert #17 will be in effect from Wednesday/Thursday. Do not expect to ride steep alpine terrain. With the exception of Sella Nevea and to a lesser extent Vogel, the terrain on the southeastern side of the Alps is relatively mellow. The ski areas on the southern border of Styria, the south-east of Carinthia and large parts of Slovenia do not have a lot of vertical and the terrain is not as steep as in the main alpine ridge. But please ride with care. The combination of fresh snow and wind will result in wind-drifted snow, making it even more dangerous on slopes steeper than 30 degrees (and there are plenty of faces that are steeper in that region). It's steeper on the Italian and Slovenian side of the Alpe Adria and when there is a lot of snowfall, there is a good chance that Sella Nevea will be closed again.

The Apennines (Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna) is a good alternative. Resorts like Abetone and Cimone will definitely give you plenty of options for a couple of days, especially the combination of powder and a day in Florence will feel exotic.

Snow in the forecast for the Piedmont towards the weekend

You can find steeper terrain in the western and southern Piedmont. The Piedmont will be filled with clouds by the end of week and these clouds are pushed against the mountains. The exact timing and details are difficult to estimate with storms like this, but the perspective is good. Chances are that it will ON in the Piedmont from Saturday. More details later this week, but when it all comes together, PA #17 will seamlessly turn into PA #18!

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  • Ed48
    Ed48 op 20 February 2018 · 16:55
    This one looking really nice!

    Thinking about going Fri-Mon (23-26 Feb).
    Looking for the ski buddy to share the cost, arriving Turin/Geneva/Lyon or driving from UK, or join the existing group with the guide (and share accommodation/transfer). If interested let me know.
  • wlf
    wlf op 20 February 2018 · 23:12
    I'm looking at heading to the southern piedmont, possibly Artesina or Lurisia. Are they my best options in the area provided the forecast holds true?

    There seems to be very little accommodation available, is this typical? Can I expect super busy slopes?

    Thanks for any advice.
  • Ed48
    Ed48 op 21 February 2018 · 17:49

    There seems to be very little accommodation available, is this typical? Can I expect super busy slopes?
    Thanks for any advice.wlf op 20 Feb 2018 23:12

    I do observe the same for other regions. There are still French school holidays for zones including Paris. I think thats why.
  • ferdinandbauer
    ferdinandbauer op 21 February 2018 · 18:48
    Hey let me know if you are still interested. I am from Munich and also want to go to Piemont this weekend.
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 22 February 2018 · 13:17
    @wlf, weekends are always busy and as @Ed48 is saying, the French are having their holidays. Check this article, it may help you:

    May the powder be with you.
  • JackSkier
    JackSkier op 22 February 2018 · 13:18
    Planning on heading to the Queyras to get the retour d'est tomorrow and Saturday. Anyone keen to meet up and ski? Resort not decided yet, possibly also Prali or Sestriere.
    *message edited by JackSkier op 22 Feb 2018 14:17 (11% bewerkt)


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