Yes, we can ride powder during Easter

By meteomorris on 27 March 2018 · 0

5-15, locally 25 cm of fresh snow came down in the northwest of the Alps since Monday. There was some room for the sun, but you can already see the warm front coming in. It will be mild on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday and it will be raining and snowing in the northwest of the Alps. The snow line fluctuates around 1400-1700 meters (and locally even higher). There is a cold front coming in in the night to Thursday and it will snow deeper into the valleys. Thursday itself is particularly sunny in the western Alps after a period of snowfall. There will be a new storm coming in from the west on Friday, with snowfall in the Alps between Friday and Sunday morning. It will be dry and sunny on Easter Sunday and it looks like the first really mild week of this winter will start and you can probably expect a lot of wet snow avalanches. But Powder during Easter seems guaranteed, but remember that it is already late March / early April. The sun is strong, so you better pick a resort at high altitude. In this forecast:

  • Today is a powder day
  • Warm front coming in
  • Another powder day on Thursday
  • Southern Stau on Friday and Saturday
  • Possibly followed by a snow sandwich
  • The result: powder during Easter



Today is a powder day

As expected, enough fresh snow came down between Monday morning and Tuesday morning to enjoy a powder day in the north of Switzerland today. My recommendations were the usual suspects in the northern Swiss alpine ridge: Engelberg, Hasliberg and the Schilthorn. A look at the webcam shows the fresh snow. The sun comes out from the west and the conditions were great this morning, just before a warm front enters the Alps this afternoon.

Satellite image Tuesday morning
Satellite image Tuesday morning

Warm front coming in

The satellite image above is from Tuesday morning. You can see the sun coming out in the west of the Alps, but at the same time you can also see thick clouds on the left, which are the contours of a heat front that will determine the weather in the northwest and north of the Alps between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday. The first precipitation is expected in the afternoon and the snow line rises towards the 1400-1700 meters especially in the night to Wednesday and on Wednesday. You will have to go higher up the mountains for some lower temperatures because of a high snow line, but the clouds make it difficult to navigate in the high alpine. The same story for Wednesday morning, but there will be cold air coming in from the northwest by the end of the day. The snow line drops and there you go: Thursday will be a powder day.

Another powder day on Thursday

It will snow heavily in the northwest of the Alps between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Especially in the French northern Alps and the northwest and north of Switzerland you can expect a lot of snow between Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning. The snow line will drop rapidly towards 900 meters or lower in the night to Thursday. At the same time, a temporary high pressure system will result in sunshine in the western Alps. Thursday morning seems to be great in the northern French Alps (yes ... including Cham), western Valais and the Bernese Oberland. Again: get up early. The current turns to the south and with a rising southern wind windslabs arise in no time.

Southern Stau on Friday and Saturday

The current turns to the south from Thursday as you can see on the map above. As a result, it will snow heavily in the southern Alps with a dropping snow line. It is still around 1400-1800 meters at first, but it locally drops to 1200 meters in the course of the day, especially in those places where it will snow heavily. Sweetspots for the time being are the Mont Blanc region (first Courmayeur and later also Cham), the northern Piedmont, the north of Ticino, the north of Lombardia, the Ortler region and the southern parts of the Ötztal. In addition, of course, the bordering regions of Haut Valais, the southwestern Engadine and the Gotthard region. A snow sandwich will come in In the course of Saturday and the resorts in the northwest of the Alps will benefit as well.

The southern Alps will get the most snow on Friday and Föhn will be strong in the other regions of the Alps. It will also snow in the southern Alps on Saturday, but it will also start snowing in the northwest and north of the Alps in the course of the day.

You are best off on the south side of the Alps on Friday and Saturday. At the same time, there is a strong Föhn in the north. Good visibility and comfortable temperatures, but that's not the best thing that can happen to the powder. The wind will transport the snow (avalanche danger) and/or it becomes wet because of the mild air. No, for powder you have to be in the southern Alps.

Possibly followed by a snow sandwich on Saturday afternoon

Cold air can flow in from the northwest in the course of Saturday. The Alps will have to deal with a snow sandwich with snow from the southwest and northwest and here you go: powder during Easter.

In short:

  • Today is a powder day in the northwest
  • Wax up on Wednesday (bad visibility)
  • Thursday: powder in the northwest of the Alps
  • Powder in the south of the Alps on Friday and Saturday
  • Snow in the northwest of the Alps on Saturday afternoon
  • Sunny on Sunday and you can ride powder in large parts of the Alps
  • The temperature will rise on Monday

Check out our detailled forecast maps to check out the snowfall in your resort!

Stay stoked. Morris


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