High pressure takes over


By Henri on 10 January 2022 · 0

Lots of snow, but also lots of wind on Glacier 3000 (roundshot.com)
Lots of snow, but also lots of wind on Glacier 3000 (roundshot.com)

Over the past three days, the Northwest Alps got a large-scale dump of 50 to 60 centimetres of snow with PA#3 , with locally peaks of 80 centimetres or even slightly more. The sun is now coming through in many places in the Western Alps. This Monday has all the ingredients for a great powder day, but be careful: avalanche danger is still high due to the heavy snowfall combined with lots of wind!

More than half a metre of snow in the Swiss Alps (whiterisk.ch)
More than half a metre of snow in the Swiss Alps (whiterisk.ch)

Fresh snowfall & clear skies

It's time for a virtual tour through the Northwest Alps on this beautiful morning. Everywhere the weather is beautifully wintry, but higher up you can see the signs of Triebschnee very well. No wonder, because during last weekend's snowfall, wind speeds of over 120 kilometres per hour (and up to 150 kilometres per hour) were measured.

Leukerbad (roundshot.com)
Leukerbad (roundshot.com)
Flaine (roundshot.com)
Flaine (roundshot.com)
Courchevel (roundshot.com)
Courchevel (roundshot.com)
Verbier (roundshot.com)
Verbier (roundshot.com)
La Berra (roundshot.com)
La Berra (roundshot.com)
Belalp (roundshot.com)
Belalp (roundshot.com)
Leysin (roundshot.com)
Leysin (roundshot.com)

Snowfall in Austria

The forecasts on wePowder are powdered by our friends at Ortovox

Austria did not benefit as much from this snowfall, but will still have to deal with some snow showers today due to a north/north-east flow. The snowfall map shows that the amounts are not very big, but at the edge of the Alps in the east of Austria, some 20 centimetres of snow could fall. Think about ski areas like Loser - Altaussee, Hochkar, Dachstein, and so on. The indicated snow in Switzerland fell this morning. It will clear up further in the coming hours.

Snow forecast
Snow forecast

High pressure and warmer

From now on, a high pressure area will take over again, keeping new snowfall far away. The upcoming nights can be freezing cold because of the freshly fallen snow and quiet conditions, with temperatures dropping below -20 degrees Celsius. During the day, it will remain quite cold in the valleys too, with occasional low-stratus cloud decks possible. From the day after tomorrow, temperatures will rise steadily and we'll be dealing with fairly mild conditions again, especially at altitude. In the southern Alps it will get a little bit milder in the coming days due to the Nordföhn, but since the temperatures in the source area (the northern side of the Alps) are quite low, it will not get warm.

Until the beginning of next week it will remain dry, as you can see in the GFS ensemble for Innsbruck below. Also for the Southern Alps (Bolzano) we don't have to expect any precipitation in the upcoming week and the beginning of next week. The GFS shows a very dry ensemble for several days now, with almost all members close to 0mm of precipitation.

GFS Ensemble Bolzano (wetterzentrale.de)
GFS Ensemble Bolzano (wetterzentrale.de)
GFS Ensemble Innsbruck (wetterzentrale.de)
GFS Ensemble Innsbruck (wetterzentrale.de)
Possible snowfall from the north next week (wxcharts.com)
Possible snowfall from the north next week (wxcharts.com)

Snowfall on the horizon?

For Austria in particular, there are already some signs that some interesting things may happen mid next week. Both the GFS and the ECMWF model show the development of a northern flow due to a blocking high pressure area just west of Europe. Don't take these model calculations too serious at this point though. It happens more often that a dominant area of high pressure, like in the coming week, can slow things down and moreover, these developments of 7 days and more are still quite uncertain.


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