High pressure remains dominant...


By Arjen on 23 November 2020 · 0

The typical weather picture for the next few days
The typical weather picture for the next few days

Unfortunately, after the short snowfall last week, the chances of more snowfall are over again. We return to the kind of weather that is dominated by high air pressure, warm temperatures at altitude and a lot of sun. Snowfall only seems possible again only towards the end of the week, especially for the Southern Alps. A depression over the Mediterranean may surprise us, but weather models disagree. In other words, the winter has been taking part in all the malaise so far. It's NOvember in every way ...

Snowfall in the Caucasus

Now that we don't have to expect any powder in the Alps in the short term, due to the high-pressure dominance, let's take a look at another location where the first signs of winter are actually happening. A lot of snow has fallen in the Caucasus in recent days. Georgia already has a good base for the rest of the season. It will take a while, but hopefully we will see these images as soon as possible in the Alps.

A good base for Gudauri, Georgia (Guro Alaphishvili)
A good base for Gudauri, Georgia (Guro Alaphishvili)

Rising air pressure

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As expected, the cold front passed quickly last Thursday and not much more than 5 to 20 centimeters of snow fell on the north side of the Alps. In some parts of Austria, the snow line has reached the valleys, making it temporarily white there too.

The Western Alps have a friendly start with plenty of sun today, while the other parts of the Alps are still overcast. A weak disturbance grazes eastern Austria during the course of the day, causing a temporary snowfall to the east of Salzburg above 1500 meters. The front has softened considerably under the influence of high pressure, so that we can expect nothing more than a cosmetic layer. It will also stay dry in most places.

A vertical cross-section of Europe with the Alps circled shows that under the influence of high pressure, descending air movements dominate above the Alps. These descending air movements usually dissolve the clouds.
A vertical cross-section of Europe with the Alps circled shows that under the influence of high pressure, descending air movements dominate above the Alps. These descending air movements usually dissolve the clouds.

High pressure weather

In the coming days we will be dealing again with typical high pressure weather. Sunshine and a warm upper air layer dominate the weather. The solar radiation in combination with a freezing level at 3000 meters ensures that the southern slopes up to 2500 meters are largely free of snow again. Most of the snow will now remain on the northern slopes above 2000 meters, but the snow cover will still be very thin.

This high-pressure setting involves descending movements, which ensure that the clouds can dissolve and the sun dominates. The image above shows a cross-section of the European continent from south (left) to north (right). These descending movements are clearly visible in almost the entire air column above the Alps.

The ECMWF provides snow for the Southern Alps on Saturday
The ECMWF provides snow for the Southern Alps on Saturday

Possible Südstau on the way?

For a few calculations in a row, the models show a low-pressure area above the Mediterranean before the end of the week. Now it also seems possible that the Southern Alps will benefit from this setting. There is even a small chance that a Südstau can develop from Friday / Saturday in the coming days. The ECMWF is happy with this and the latest calculations show some temporarily snowfall in the Southern Alps, while the GFS mainly directs the precipitation towards the Balkans and Greece. So we absolutely cannot talk about details yet, because a lot can still change. More on this Thursday!

wePowder guide can be ordered again!

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