Dry with a chance of snow from the weekend


By Henri on 16 December 2020 · 0

The sun comes out in Saint-Véran after a fresh layer of snow
The sun comes out in Saint-Véran after a fresh layer of snow

The day before yesterday I mentioned the possible precipitation during the weekend, but even today there is still a lot of uncertainty. This winter, unfortunately, we are not only dealing with uncertain weather maps, but pretty much everything is uncertain. When will the lifts open? When will we be able to travel again? Let's hope that the long wait is rewarded and that we can still enjoy some great snow this season. One thing is certain: the wePowder forecasts will continue as usual!

In Vars-Risoul the webcams are mouth-watering
In Vars-Risoul the webcams are mouth-watering
Last night's Meteofrance precipitation radar clearly showing that the most intensive precipitation was west of the French Alps
Last night's Meteofrance precipitation radar clearly showing that the most intensive precipitation was west of the French Alps

Precipitation for the Western Alps yesterday

As expected, it has snowed about 20 to 30 centimeters in the higher parts of the Écrins in the last 24 hours. In the other parts of the French Alps, it was around 5 to 15 centimeters. This can easily be explained by a radar image of Meteofrance from last night. The precipitation area with the greatest intensity was, as expected, for a long time just west of the Alps, which meant that the amounts of fresh snow here were limited.

Last night, some of this precipitation moved towards Lombardy and South Tyrol under the influence of the southwest current. Again, this does not produce large quantities of snow, I expect a maximum of 5 centimeters here, but it does make for a cloudy start to the day.

Livigno also got some snow last night
Livigno also got some snow last night

The inversion is clearly visible in Obervellach (Carinthia). Despite the warm southwestern high current, it's freezing in the valley all day long and the trees are still white
The inversion is clearly visible in Obervellach (Carinthia). Despite the warm southwestern high current, it's freezing in the valley all day long and the trees are still white

Sun coming out from the west

The forecasts on wePowder are powdered by our friends at Ortovox

The sun comes out quickly from the west today, but it can remain cloudy for a while in the Eastern Alps. The moist south-westerly current can temporarily cause some precipitation, which in particular in Osttirol and Carinthia can lead to freezing ice due to the inversion present. While warm air has already poured in at altitude, "Dauerfrost" still reigns here in many valleys.

Dry and mild

Under the influence of the warm Mediterranean Sea, there may still be some precipitation in the French Alps tomorrow, but even then it seems that the showers more follow the line Montpellier - Lyon, so that most French areas will keep it dry (and sunny) . For the rest of the Alps I don't expect any precipitation anyway and it will be quite sunny except for low-hanging clouds in some valleys. Due to the southwestern supply of warm air, it remains very mild at altitude. On Friday little changes in the weather situation and it remains sunny and warm.

The large-scale pressure distribution during the weekend. An occlusion front approaches the Alps from the west
The large-scale pressure distribution during the weekend. An occlusion front approaches the Alps from the west

A toned front from the west will bring in colder air in the course of Sunday
A toned front from the west will bring in colder air in the course of Sunday

Significant precipitation during the weekend?

What about the precipitation during the weekend I mentioned the day before yesterday? On Saturday, a depression is approaching from the Atlantic Ocean that tries to start a westerly current. A toned occlusion front is sent from the west towards the Alps, but what exactly it will bring next is unfortunately still not entirely clear. The European model is on 'team precipitation', but the GFS model is leaving that precipation room through the backdoor. Our forecast also shows that little snow of any significance is expected.

This precipitation is mainly caused by the southern current over the Mediterranean Sea, which (again) picks up quite a bit of moisture and hits the Alps. The French Southern Alps and Southern Piedmont in particular can benefit from this with possibly 20 to 40 centimeters of fresh snow above 2000 meters, but as mentioned earlier these developments are still uncertain. The front from the west appears to be reaching the Alps on Sunday, causing the snow line to drop. Initially it is about 2000 meters, but will drop to well below 1500 meters in the course of Sunday. Because the developments during the weekend are still quite uncertain, there is no point in looking any further. More in the next forecast!

wePowder guide is here!

Winter is here, but it's still not sure what this season will look like. It's always time to start dreaming and preparing. Whatever it will look like, the wePowder Guide is available again. We've extended the pre-order price of € 45.00 (excl. shipping) for a while. This thick book of 400+ pages is in stock and will be delivered to you as soon as possible! Thanks for your support!


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