PA #24: Where to go?

By meteomorris on 16 March 2018 · 3

It was snowing heavily in the southern French Alps and the Italian Alps on Thursday. The front moved on the south side to the east later on Thursday and in the night to Friday and at the same time it began to snow in the northern French Alps and later in the rest of the northern Alps. The largest quantities of fresh snow were measured in the southern French Alps and the Italian Alps. The sun came out from the west after the snowfall on Friday morning, but the sun won't stick around very long. It will be cloudy with locally some heavy snowfall this weekend. It's time for tree runs. There will be a low pressure area situated south of the Alps after the weekend and humid air is pressed against the Piedmont with an easterly current. The models are currently quite pessimistic, but at the foot of the Mont Viso this always results in more snow than calculated. Something to keep an eye on the coming days. The analysis of the weather can be found in the video below. Scroll down below for the tips of next weekend and an outlook to the start of the next week.

It's an interesting situation in short with a very complex situation in the atmosphere. In this forecast:

  • Weekend: slowly getting colder, snowfall and bad visibility
  • PA#24: where to go
  • After the weekend

Complex weekend
Complex weekend

Weekend: slowly getting colder, snowfall and bad visibility

We are dealing with a very complex situation in the Alps. Cold air descends very slowly towards the Alps from the north. At the same time there is a set of fronts coming in from the southwest and as an icing on the cake humid and milder air is being pushed towards the Alps from the south-east. These three air masses meet above the Alps. That is one thing that is certain, but the biggest challenge is to predict exactly where the most snow will fall. Those who have followed our snow maps in the last few days, but also those of other models, probably noticed that each run gave a different result. What is certain: you can expect snowfall in large parts of the Alps with bad visibility this weekend. The temperature will drop and I expect the following to happen:

  • Saturday: the front will come in from west to southwest. It already starts to snow in the western Alps in the course of the morning, especially south and west of the Ecrins. The snowfall will expand towards the northern French Alps and the west of Wallis later. It will also start snowing heavily in the south of Switzerland by the end of the afternoon. It will continnue to snow in the night to Sunday and also the Gotthard and the Sustenpas get a lot of snow. The night to Sunday in particular is interesting from a weather man's point of view. In the western Alps there is a southwestern current, in the eastern Alps the current is already turning to the southeast and in the northern Alps the current is northeast due to the penetration of the cold air from the north.
  • Sunday: the current is moving southeast to east. The center of gravity of the precipitation shifts to the northwest of Italy and the bordering regions in Switzerland and France.

PA#24: where to go?

Poor visibility, snowfall from time to time and changing temperatures in the various air layers. This weekend definitely won't be as sunny as it was in the Alps today. What would I do? Saturday is a transition day. It starts to snow heavily and in the west of the French Alps it can be alright. It is ON in the following regions on Sunday:

Trees (larches) will be great for the visibility.

Snow for the Piedmont?
Snow for the Piedmont?

After the weekend

The current keeps on coming from the east in the eastern part of the Alps. Clouds are pushed into the Po-valley between a high pressure area to the north and a low pressure area to the south of the Alps and the chances of snow are realistic in the Piedmont. The quantities are still a mystery, but more about that on Sunday.

Stay stoked Morris


  • tarekbayazid
    tarekbayazid op 16 March 2018 · 19:10
    Morris, thank you again. Am staying in Verbier this weekend. Looks like they’ll get a bit of snow tomorrow but not loads. Anywhere within 90 minutes you’d recommend to drive on Sunday to grab some of this snow? Maybe Crevacol?

  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 16 March 2018 · 21:44
    @tarekbayazid hold your horses. Computer models are going crazy at the moment and I’ve never seen such a big changes for the short term from run to run.

    Will post some extra updates below my forecast tomorrow. I am ready for some Powder chasing the upcoming days so I am extra keen to serve you all with my best predictions.
    May the powder be with you.
  • gunnarbroberg157
    gunnarbroberg157 op 16 March 2018 · 22:39
    How big are the chansen for major snowfall in Bad Gastein next week? Ill go there for next week and it would ve nice with some powder


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