After a fairly dominant föhn period for the Northern Alps in the past week, the recent snow cover has been considerably affected. Last Wednesday and Thursday the freezing level was temporarily at no less than 4000 meters, as a result of which the snow line has retreated to the high alpine. However, it does not take long before the “Goldener Herbst” is over. In fact, a cold front is crossing the Alps from the west today, which will result in large amounts of precipitation.
At the moment it is already snowing in the Western Alps and on the south side of the Alps around Ticino. Unfortunately, this snowfall is only short-lived, because at the end of the week high pressure takes over and we end up in warmer and drier weather.
The map above with the total precipitation amounts for today and tomorrow shows that the center of gravity of the snowfall is on the south side of the Alps (the map is borrowed from wxcharts.com, as there is an outage at one of our data providers four our weather model. We are working hard to fix this). Especially Ticino and the Julian Alps can expect up to a meter of fresh snow, but with a high snow line. In the beginning, the snow line was still high everywhere, but for the northern French and Swiss Alps, cold air quickly enters and the snow line drops to about 1000 meters. Although the entire north side of the Alps receives less snow, about 30 to 50 centimeters of snow can fall on a wide scale.
On the south side there is indeed more precipitation, but this will fall as rain up to high altitude for a longer period of time. For example, the snow line in Ticino does not drop below 2000 meters until the end of the afternoon, when the largest precipitation peak has already passed here. The same also applies to the rest of the Southern Alps. While some valleys on the north side will turn white, the aforementioned large amounts of snow on the south side of the Alps will only be found in the high alpine.
Due to the snowfall coming in from the west, it will first become quite warm in Austria today under the influence of the Südföhn. To the east of Innsbruck, the temperature in the valleys can rise to around 15 degrees. During the day, the front also reaches the Eastern Alps. Here, too, the snow line is initially still quite high (about 2000 to 2500 meters), but in the course of this evening the snow line will drop to about 1000 meters and possibly even slightly lower. Only in the inneralpine areas can the snow line fluctuate around 1500 meters for a long time. It is these inneralpine areas on the north side of the Alps that will benefit the most from the snowfall. Up to and including tomorrow afternoon, about 50 centimeters of snow can fall here.
While it may snow for a while in the eastern Alps tomorrow, the sun will come out again from the west. In the evening, however, another vast front of the ex-tropical storm Epsilon follows. Initially, apart from the supply of warmer air in the course of the evening, the Alps will not receive much of this. From the northern French Alps to Vorarlberg, a splash of rain can fall (with a snow line of about 2200 to 2500 meters), but it is certainly not worth mentioning.
The models do not completely agree with each other yet, but both the European Model and the German ICON model show some snow on the maps on the north side of the Alps for Thursday. The American model does not really agree with this for the time being. It is in particular the nordstau areas that can receive a maximum of 10 to 20 centimeters of snow above 1800 meters.
The days after that seem to be dominated by a return of the “Goldener Herbst”. For example, in the ensemble of the American model for the Geneva puncture point, after today's snowfall, there seems to be hardly any room for significant amounts of snow. With temperatures heading towards 10 degrees at 1500 meters, winter seems far away again.
Tot de winter weer terug is kun je natuurlijk wegdromen in je wePowder Guide. Afgelopen jaar waren alle gidsen die we hadden laten drukken al in de pre-order uitverkocht, maar we zijn een nieuwe pre-order gestart en vanaf midden december wordt de tweede druk van deze ultieme freeride gids van 408 pagina's weer verstuurd. Hier vind je meer informatie en kun je een deel van de gids bekijken. Thanks voor je stoke en je steun!
Until winter returns, you can of course dream away in your wePowder Guide. Last year all the guides we had printed were already sold out in the pre-order, but we have started a new pre-order and from mid-December the second edition of this ultimate freeride guide of 408 pages will be ready for shipping again. Find more information here and view parts of the guide. Thanks for your stoke and your support!