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:
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.
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.
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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Stay stoked. Morris