Return of winter weather with snow mainly for the northwest and southeast


By Henri on 3 January 2022 · 1

Snowfall until Thursday afternoon according to our weather model
Snowfall until Thursday afternoon according to our weather model

After the heavy rain of late December for the north-western Alps and the subsequent high temperatures, the conditions in a large part of the Alps are currently far from ideal. Fortunately, by the middle of this week things will change and the Alps will return back to winter after an exceptionally warm period. The American model even cautiously hinted at a Powder Alert for the north-western Alps as of the weekend, but I'm not entirely convinced yet. The European model doesn't show this in the charts yet either.

In this weather report:

  • Warm front and Südföhn
  • Ongoing snowfall
  • Temporary clearing
  • More snow in the Northwest Alps?

Just like today, tomorrow it will remain cloudy in the northern areas, like here in Warth-Schröcken (foto-webcam.eu)
Just like today, tomorrow it will remain cloudy in the northern areas, like here in Warth-Schröcken (foto-webcam.eu)

Warm front, strong westerly winds and Südföhn

Today, the northernmost areas already had to deal with it, but also tomorrow a rain area north of the Alps will pass from west to east as a result of a warm front. The north-western areas (from the French Northern Alps to Vorarlberg, but also along the Austrian Alpine edge) may receive a few centimetres of snow next night and tomorrow morning with a snowline slightly above 2000 metres. Around the Mont Blanc massif, 10 to 15 centimetres are possible. Next to the powerful westerly wind that dominates the Alps north side, a strong Südföhn will develop during the day tomorrow, which will create clearing conditions for the inner alpine areas. Only in the French Northern Alps it might snow a bit longer above 2500 metres. Please note that the föhn at its peak tomorrow afternoon will be quite fierce and will probably cause closed lifts higher up. Also on the northern side of the Alps you have to take into account that the lifts might be closed due to the westerly wind with gusts up to well over 100 kilometres per hour.

First Südföhn, then Northföhn (meteocentrale.ch)
First Südföhn, then Northföhn (meteocentrale.ch)
Cold front with snow from the northwest follows during Tuesday evening (wetter3.de, DWD)
Cold front with snow from the northwest follows during Tuesday evening (wetter3.de, DWD)

snowfall from the northwest

The forecasts on wePowder are powdered by our friends at Ortovox

The Südföhn will not last long, as a cold front approaching from the northwest and increasing low pressure on the south side will turn the tables and give the Southwest Alps a Nordföhn on Wednesday. During the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, the cold front will reach the Northwest Alps and will bring 20 to 30 centimetres of snow on a large scale. The snow line will drop quickly to well below 1000 metres with the arrival of considerably colder air and will eventually end up in most of the valleys.

In the course of Wednesday morning, the snowfall will spread further to the east. For the northern side of Austria it looks like there will be some 10 to 20 centimetres, but due to a low pressure core south of the Alps, the southeastern Alps might get a lot of snow as well with an increasingly lower snowline (from 1600 to 1000 metres and much lower further north). The GFS and ICON limit the snowfall in the southern Alps more to the Julian Alps (with more than half a meter of snow here), but the ECMWF also lets the Dolomites benefit with about 30 centimeters of snow, which is a bit too positive in my opinion.

Temporary high-pressure weather on Thursday, but the next front is already approaching (wetter3.de, DWD)
Temporary high-pressure weather on Thursday, but the next front is already approaching (wetter3.de, DWD)

Temporary sunny

On Thursday it clears up quickly in the southern Alps, but the northern (western) Alps still have to deal with residual clouds. The air pressure will increase from the west, causing it to clear up in the course of the day. Especially in Austria, it might continue snowing on Thursday, with 5 to 10 centimetres of snow.

More snow from the northwest (wetter3.de, DWD)
More snow from the northwest (wetter3.de, DWD)
Possible snow amounts until next Tuesday
Possible snow amounts until next Tuesday

More snow in the Northwest Alps?

After a cold and in many places clear night, we will have a beautiful start of the day on Friday, but soon clouds and some snow will follow from the northwest. As I said before, the GFS saw the possibility of a nice powder alert towards the end of the weekend, but the European model is still a bit more cautious. The new GFS run also seems to reduce the precipitation amounts, but there's still a good chance for 20 to 30 centimetres. Let's see how it develops in the coming days.

Comments


  • arslonga
    Advanced
    arslonga op 4 January 2022 · 09:39
    you should make a revision to your models.....as you told in Dolomites 20-30 cm are expected, while yr. 6-14days forecast gives in Cortina 4,9 cm, even less in Corvara... 😃
    non rompete il c**** al cavaliere nero....

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