Mild weekend, but winter will make a comeback

By meteomorris on 29 March 2019 · 0

Tuesday and Wednesday were nice powder days with about 15-30, locally 40 cm of fresh snow. Locally the fun was somewhat ruined by some clouds, but in large parts of the northern Alps riders enjoyed the new layer of fresh. Now that everything is tracked close to the slopes, it is time for a bit of touring. Stick those skins under your skis or splitboard, because there is still something to be found on northern slopes. The Alps are under the spell of high pressure up to and including Monday/Tuesday and the weekend will be sunny and mild.

High pressure dominant
High pressure dominant

Those who want real fresh powder should wait a little longer. Cold air is on the menu again for the middle of next week. Cold air smashes its way through the high pressure belt from the north and pushes the high pressure back to the west. In such a scenario, the door will be opened to arctic air from the north. Something that always provides a nice PowderAlert at this time of the year.

There's still a closed snow cover in large parts of the Alps above 1700-2000 meters and certainly on northern slopes there's a possibility on riding treeruns in parts of the northern Alps when there's a lot of snow coming down. With the snow and cold air in the forecast, it will certainly be good.

Mild weekend: go touring, but be aware of rise in temperature

It will be warm this weekend and the freezing level rises towards 2500 meters in the western Alps and 2000 meters in the eastern Alps during the day. But this does not mean that all the snow immediately transforms into slush. In order for snow to melt you first need a temperature above zero and, in addition, either moisture (rain, heavy clouds, very wet snow) or direct sunlight.

Although it will be mild in the coming days, the sun will not be able to shine directly on steeper and shady slopes with a northern component. In addition, the days are clear and the humidity is low. The result is that the snow on shady slopes (those are also the northern slopes where the radiation from the sun doesn't directly hit the snow cover) just stays nice, cold and fresh. Especially because there is a kind of cold blanket (cold air layer) above this snow cover on which the sun has little influence. When you've followed Mountain Academy, check this section.

If you are wePowder Pro then you can use the exposition maps this weekend to find some nice tours with enough northern slopes to ride down. Start your day early in the morning and the following is your reward. Earn your turns! It is just like the surfer who continuously paddles out for a new wave.

Please keep the daily rise in temperature in mind this weekend. Sunny slopes in particular will see the temperature rise rapidly. With sufficient radiation, this destabilizes the snow cover, resulting in wet sluff or wet snow avalanches. Check your local avalanche forecast via the area pages on wePowder or via and adjust your plans to it accordingly. Just know what the risks are in spring, so that you can ride as safe as possible. It's not the best option to get stuck in the deep slush and the wet snow avalanches around you thunder down.

PowderAlert #21

PowderAlert #21 will start in the middle of next week. As said, a storm depression squeezes its way to the Alps.

The tricky part for now is the exact path of the storm. If most of the cold air comes to the Alps through the north of France, then the Gotthard region and later larger parts of Switzerland could become the big winners because the snow then first flows in from the southwest and then in the form of a sandwich folds around the Alps. But if the high pressure area remains stronger than expected, the cold air will travel through Germany to the Alps and we will have to deal with a classic Nordstau. So wait a moment .. and do not book too early!

Also read: How to plan your own powder trip: 10 tips

In short:

  • Wonderful touring weekend
  • Monitor my updates from Monday and Tuesday
  • Book your accommodation from Tuesday/Wednesday
  • PowderAlert #21 from Wednesday / Thursday

And the long term also looks great at the moment. April is about to start snowy!

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


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