Three little snow dumps for the Northern Alps

By meteomorris on 17 February 2020 · 9

After the snow fall on Thursday and Friday, the weekend started excellent in the Northwest, but it soon became milder and t-shirts showed up on the terraces. Today (Monday) starts mild again, but a new cold front is coming up from the west. It is the first of three fronts this week with snow for the northwestern and northern Alps. I expect the best conditions on Wednesday / Thursday. In this message:

  • good powder to be found
  • snow from Monday to Tuesday for the Northwest
  • most snow on Wednesday for the Northern Als
  • some snow on Friday for the Northern Alps
  • milder weekend
  • where and when to go?

Good powder to be found

It is a difficult winter. Namely in the French (South) Alps and in Italy it is meager, just like in the East Tyrol and Carinthia. The entire and northern Alps have seen some storms pass in recent weeks. Whoever is in the right place at the right time in this part of the Alps will experience winter as less problematic. Last weekend the weather was fine in some places:

But during the course of Sunday the rap became very mild and today, Monday a new front moves into the Alps.

Snow from Monday to Tuesday

The map above shows the cold front that is moving into the north-west of the Alps today. With a western current, cold(er) air is pressed into the northwestern part of the Alps. Before the cold front, the snow line is round 1800 meters, but drops towards 1000 meters in the course of the evening. Between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, an average of 5-10 cm of fresh snow willfalls over 2000 meters. Accumulations will be bigger in the higher alpine in the Mont Blanc region and the Alpennordhang.

On Tuesday itself the sun will be back again everywhere. And with a temperature of around -7 degrees at 2000 meters, it is almost 15 degrees colder than it was last weekend.

Snow on Wednesday

On Wednesday another front passes the Alps. This time the upper air flow is a little more northwest, in contrast to the Monday-Tuesday front. The supplied air is colder and the snow line considerably lower. From the start the snow line will sit around 600 meters. The center of gravity of the precipitation is now from the Eiger to Vorarlberg. The wind is less powerful and the snow falls deeper into the valleys. Count on 10-25 cm above 1500 meters, with locally up tp 35 centimeters.

Thursday, the sun is coming through and it will be a wonderful powder day in central Switzerland and the Vorarlberg in Austria. The hohe Tauern may also pick some, but the amounts are still uncertain. I will keep you informed about this under this blog.

Some snow on Friday

In the course of Thursday the weather changes and from Thursday to Friday a few centimeters may fall on the north side of the Alps. Nothing really significant and the prelude to a milder weekend. Snow line on Friday around 1000 meters.

Where and when to go?

Tuesday can be quite nice in the higher alpine around Mont Blanc. The higher parts of the Lötschental also get their share. But the strong winds will create some windslabs for sure.

I expect the best conditions on Thursday in central Switzerland and Vorarlberg. There will be more fresh snow, less wind, colder and therefore deeper conditions.

A new update by Wednesday at the latest.

Your Powfinder, Morris


  • snowfaqtory
    snowfaqtory op 18 February 2020 · 01:08
    Hi Morris
    Heading into Zurich March 5th. My original plan was to hit Andermat, but not so sure on snow. Curious what your thoughts are on what's best right now in this zone, base wise. I know a lot can change but just looking for some best bets. Bought your guide book, super excited to try it out soon!

  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 18 February 2020 · 17:16
    @snowfaqtory long term isn't looking that bad. The crowds will be way more dense than now, so don't worry.
    May the powder be with you.
  • Shreddermax
    Shreddermax op 21 February 2020 · 00:00
    We had a pretty nice powder day, weather was getting better all day long.

  • thomasweller
    thomasweller op 23 February 2020 · 16:25
    Hey Morris, all good? Little worried you haven’t checked in. All the best, T.
  • elecas
    elecas op 24 February 2020 · 09:19
    There is not much to say right now. But I can tell you about the conditions around innsbruck. They were bad before the weekend and now they are a disaster. Saturday 18 degrees innsbruck city. Freezing lever more than 3000m and supersunny. And Sunday warm and liters of raining (no single forecast of any source predicted that). I was going ski touring around kuhtai and in the village (2000m high) raining and 4 degrees, I drank a tee and went home... It seems next 2 weeks will be snow but we will see. And we really needed it, looks April in the mountains.
  • StefanIvarsson
    StefanIvarsson op 24 February 2020 · 09:45
    Where is Morris?
  • tarekbayazid
    tarekbayazid op 24 February 2020 · 16:05
    Where is Morris?StefanIvarsson op 24 Feb 2020 09:45

    I know, am worried about him. It’s been 7 days and there’s crazy storm systems heading towards the Alps...
  • philip159
    philip159 op 24 February 2020 · 16:23
    Starting to get a bit worried that there is a monster storm coming and no update from Morris. Either that or he is busy shredding.
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 24 February 2020 · 23:22 May the powder be with you.


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