HIGH avalanche danger, mild and sunny weekend and fresh snow after!

By meteomorris on 14 March 2019 · 14

Wednesday and Thursday were great powder days. Beautiful pictures came by via instagram (#wepowder) and for good reason. Even the sun showed itself here and there, but Friday will be completely different. A very active warm front moves into the Alps with lots of snow, a rising snow line and locally a HIGH avalanche risk. The weekend will be sunny, but mild. The southwestern wind picks up considerably on Sunday and it snows again between Sunday afternoon and Tuesday.

Friday is a tricky powder day... HIGH avalanche danger!

Friday starts hopeful in many places. It is snowing and the wind is less strong in the valleys. Below some graphs and shots form this morning. The weather stations in Switzerland do show significant amounts of fresh snow this morning.

Heavy snow in Zermatt
Heavy snow in Zermatt

Fresh snow in Andermatt
Fresh snow in Andermatt

Fresh snow last 24 hours
Fresh snow last 24 hours

Interesting is Chamonix this morning. Loads of fesh snow at the parking lot of Les Grand Montets with am air temperature of -2 degrees. At the same time temperature at Lognan (which is around 1000 meter higher) is around zero.


The inneralpine valleys are filled with cold air which is heavier. It will take a while before this thicker air is gone. When you take a close look at the inneralpine valleys of Switzerland you can see that they stay cooler as well. But warmer air is moving is as the red dots in the northwest do show.

In the eastern alps it is still cold with heavy precipitation.

Loads of snow at the Kleinwalsertal
Loads of snow at the Kleinwalsertal



But make no mistake, there's danger around the corner. The western wind takes the form of a storm above the tree line and maybe even hurricane force. In addition, the snow line rises during the day. Take into account a snow line that rises from 1000 to 1700-2000 meters in the west and from 600 to 1400 or even 1800 meters in the east.

A lot of snow will come down, locally maybe even up to a meter. But due to the strong wind (very large accumulations possible) and the rising temperature (the snow cover is getting heavier), the situation is becoming very tense. In the French Northern Alps, large parts of Switzerland, Vorarlberg and the west of Tyrol, there is a HIGH avalanche risk. Although treeruns initially offer shelter, the rise in temperature will make it increasingly difficult to find dry snow. Please make wise decisions what you can ride in a responsable way tomorrow, but keep in mind that the options will become increasingly limited during the day.

Expected snowfall until Friday night
Expected snowfall until Friday night

Weekend sunny, but very mild

Forget the treeruns this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday you want to ride powder in the higher parts of the Alps as it looks right now. The sun comes out and it becomes very mild. The wind will lie down on Saturday and the freezing level rises sky high towards 3000 meters. Take into account many spontaneous avalanches due to the snowfall and wind of Friday and the rapid rising temperature. It's going to be a tricky Saturday. Ride fast, but ride smart. Check your local avalanche forecast on the area pages on wePowderof or via avalanches.org and adjust your plans accordingly. The sun may bring you in a mild mood, but it will be tricky!

New front on Sunday, PA #18 on Monday/Tuesday

A new front is coming in on Sunday. Cold air will come in from the northwest. The timing is not entirely clear yet, but expect a weather deterioration in the northwest and southwest during Sunday. The rest of the Alps will still have nice weather. Snow is expected to come down on Monday and some extra flakes come down on Tuesday. It is colder again and the snow line drops deeper into the valleys.

The menu:

  • Friday: hurricane ... from high winter to late winter in no time. Very difficult conditions. Powder in the morning lower on the mountain. Very limited options later in the day.
  • Weekend: late winter conditions so you should head to the high alpine. Or to areas in the northwest and north of the Alps with substantial terrain above the tree line. Take into account the rise in temperature and very tricky avalanche conditions.

  • Northwest and west of the Savoie
  • Haute Savoie
  • Northwest and west of Wallis
  • Kanton Bern
  • Zentralschweiz
  • Ostschweiz
  • The north of Graubünden
  • Vorarlberg
  • Tirol

  • Monday/Tuesday: PowderAlert #18
  • After Tuesday it will be dry for a while so it's time to start touring.

As wePowder Pro you get access to exposition, freeride routes, slope angle maps and the 14-day forecast per resorts (we've got all the resorts in the Alps covered). You never have to miss a dump anymore. When you are wePowder Pro you also have access to 1000+ inspirational freeride routes in the most beautiful freeride areas of the Alps. Sign up as wePowder Pro today. It works great for your karma as well and you'll support the development of the wePowder platform! Thanks!

Stay stoked, Morris


  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 14 March 2019 · 22:45
    Best tips are the usual suspect tips for the weekend (saturday, sunday afternoon new snow coming in from the west)
    * Chamonix (les Grand Montets)
    * Les 4 Vallées
    * Zermatt
    * Saas Fee
    * Engelberg
    * Andermatt
    * Arlberg
    * Ischgl
    * Kaunertaler Gletscher
    * Pitztaler Gletscher
    * Sölden
    * Val Senales
    * Hintertux
    * Kaprun
    * Sportgastein

    Also okay
    * Espace Killy (high snow level)
    * La Grave
    * Bonneval sur Arc
    * Livigno
    May the powder be with you.
  • Matteo_DG
    Matteo_DG op 15 March 2019 · 08:46
    Hi Morris!
    Live update from Brennero (1300m). It's still snowing deep into valley. The snow starts from 1000m.
    It seems it could resist the whole day...
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 15 March 2019 · 10:07
    @Matteo_DG thanks, let's hope so. Keep us posted!
    May the powder be with you.
  • Brock22
    Brock22 op 15 March 2019 · 14:31
    Raining today up to 2000m in haute savoie around Les Gets.
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 15 March 2019 · 17:38
    @Brock22 thanks for sharing.
    May the powder be with you.
  • mtench
    mtench op 15 March 2019 · 17:42
    Chamonix just closed their Brochard lift for at least a week on Grand Montets. This makes it ski touring paradise, but not so freeride...
  • ecsjones
    ecsjones op 15 March 2019 · 17:53
    wow, another lift at cham closed. crazy. any info or is it just maintenance
  • mtench
  • mtench
    mtench op 15 March 2019 · 17:57
    It’s geology. Plus global warming.
  • SvenPrzetak
    SvenPrzetak op 15 March 2019 · 20:35
    Hi Morris, we are in a hotel in Interlaken for the weekend. What do you think is the best Spot for saturday and sunday? Grindelwald First, Meiringen, Mürren, Adelboden...?
    Time to Play!
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 16 March 2019 · 08:10
    @SvenPrzetak Schilthorn-Murren
    May the powder be with you.
  • Trabateo
    Trabateo op 17 March 2019 · 14:42
    Yesterday hot day in Livigno. On Friday night a nice wind had blown and the snow was a bit of all kinds except powder. However, freeride day earned between Vallaccia and Colombina in the Mottolino area
    *message edited by Trabateo op 17 Mar 2019 14:44 (6% bewerkt)
    One step at a time, one breath at a time. So if you don't survive the bullet closest to your forehead, you don't have to worry about the one after ...
  • hansmartin
    hansmartin op 17 March 2019 · 19:59
    Hi Morris!
    We are a Norwegian couple who consider going to the alps 29.Mar - 03.Apr (appr. 4 ski days), and are wondering if you would please help with input in the gamble chosing location (at least airport)? 😃
    We would preferably do lift based skiing and not alpine touring. Also preferably powder, but it looks like nice slush is more likely 😃 And close to an airport, e.g. Geneva, Zurich, Munich. Normally we would drive around chasing the snow, but not this time.
    Thanks for the great website!!
  • marcomalcangi
    marcomalcangi op 18 March 2019 · 11:25
    Hi, where is better to go for a powder day tomorrow, Tuesday?


You need to be logged in to post a comment in this topic. Login or create an account.

Upgrade to wepowder Pro

  • Extended 14 day forecast
  • Slope angle and exposition terrain layers
  • Inspirational freeride routes
wePowder Pro