PowderAlerts! First for the south, than for the northwest

By meteomorris on 6 March 2019 · 1

I announced a PowderAlert for the Simplon-Gotthard-Ticino-Engadine region yesterday. Storm Cornelius is going to take care of some fresh snow there. And then there are more storms in the forecast for the Alps. Let it snow!

The ingredients for the next 10 days

Peak season is behind us, there is a good base pretty much everywhere and there is a lot of snow in the forecast. It's the base for one or more great powder trips the coming days. The fourth ingredient is flexibility. By that I mean: make sure you can actually go and be flexible with your accommodation. Don't book your accommodation too early. You should definitely read the article: 'How to plan your powder trip: 10 tips'.

PA#15: southern Stau and southern Föhn!

Check out the picture above for today and Thursday. A strong southern current ensures the supply of mild and humid air from the south. First of all, we see snow in the areas to the south and east of the Ecrins. I expect the snow line to be lower at first in the Piedmont (around 1100-1400 meters) and higher in the Hautes Alpes (1700-2000 meters) and that it will be around 1300-1500 meters everywhere in the night to Thursday.

The snowfall spreads to the north of the Piedmont, the Simplon area, the north of Ticino and the south side of the Gotthard to the southern Engadine in the course of the afternoon. The snow line is around 1000-1200 meters near the main alpine ridge, in the pre-Alps around 1400 meters. Because of the enormous Stau and orographic cooling, I expect the most snow here between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon. The snow line will start to rise a little in the course of Thursday, because the southern current will kinda stop and the cooling down due to extreme Stau will then disappear. There will be a cold front that brings snow to the northwest of the Alps in the course of the Thursday afternoon.

Thus it looks like this up to and including Friday:

  • Today: fast rising southern Föhn and very mild in the northern Alps. Emerging snowfall south of the French Ecrins (Hautes Alpes), the western and northern Piemonte and north of Ticino including that beautiful resort in Uri right above the Gotthard tunnel.
  • Thursday: continuing snowfall in the northern Piedmont, the north of Ticino and the south of Graubünden. There is a cold front coming in from the west that brings snow to the northwest of the Alps later in the day.
  • Friday: snow in the northwest of the Alps and the sun will come out from the west.

PA#15: where to go?

It's ON on Thursday afternoon and Friday in:

  • The northern Piemonte
  • But especially in the north of Ticino and that resort in Uri
  • Also the north of the (Hautes Alpes) is just enough for some powder turns

Lots of snow in the forecast

The jet stream has found its way back to the Alps and storm Cornelius is the first storm to visit the Alps. According to the bigger weather models, at least 3 to 4 storms with significant snowfall pass through the Alps during the next 10 days. You'll always have to be careful with a forecast for 10 days for a jetstream that's on fire. Small changes can have significant consequences for the storm paths. The quantities and especially the places where the most snow falls will certainly change during the coming calculations. Be flexible and book your accoommodation as late as possible.

Next weekend?

Saturday starts cold in the morning, but it gets warmer soon. There is a cold front in the forecast for the northwest with snow for the northwest of the Alps on Sunday (timing may change) with significant snowfall as a result. There are storms in the forecast with snow from the southwest and the northwest as well next week. Wax up, get your storm gear ready and get ready for a wonderful trip. Winter is far from over.

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Stay stoked, Morris


  • wayneo
    wayneo op 7 March 2019 · 05:39
    Thanks for the great write up. I noticed some other forecasts are suggesting there will be a lot of rain this weekend on the Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th in the Portes du Soleil area, do you agree with this?


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