Spring in the northern Alps, colder on the southern side


By Henri on 9 March 2022 · 4

Portes du Soleil today (roundshot.com)
Portes du Soleil today (roundshot.com)

There is not much exciting weather related news to talk about in the Alps, because the sun will continue to shine in a large part of the Alps in the coming days. It will get warmer on the west and north side of the Alps in the coming days. Friday, some snow will follow for Piedmont, about 5 to 15 centimetres above 1000 metres. On Saturday, there might be some snow for the Western Alps as well, but for now this front seems to barely reach the Alps.

In this weather report:

  • Between cold and spring
  • Südföhn
  • Cold in the Southern Alps
  • Snow in the Pyrenees and Greece

Warm southern flow to the west of the Alps and a strong cold spell in south-eastern Europe (wxcharts.com)
Warm southern flow to the west of the Alps and a strong cold spell in south-eastern Europe (wxcharts.com)

Between winter and spring

The weather forecasts on wePowder are powdered by our friends at Ortovox

This week there is a duel between the cold outbreak in South-East Europe and the mild southern flow over Western Europe. The Alps are exactly in between. In the past few days the Eastern Alps in particular were still full of cold upper air, but as the high pressure core continues to shift eastwards, winter is returning to South-Eastern Europe. The Alps, on the other hand, are increasingly getting into milder air masses. The past few days have again been sunny, but not yet particularly warm. In the already warm March-sun it really feels like spring, but as soon as you go in the shade you notice that the air temperature is still quite low. In Austria in particular, the north-easterly flow kept it nice and cold for the time of year.

The low temperatures in combination with the very dry air made sure that the conditions on the shady slopes were still pretty good for a long time. Despite the powerful sun, you could still hardly find any wet snow or firn on the southern slopes. This will change in the coming days, as temperatures in the western and northern Alps will rise due to föhn.

Southföhn in the Northern Alps from Friday on (meteocentrale.ch)
Southföhn in the Northern Alps from Friday on (meteocentrale.ch)

Südföhn

In the coming days, the temperature will rise more and more. From Friday onwards, an increasing pressure difference between the Northern and Southern Alps will create Südföhn conditions. Temperatures at 1500 metres will rise to around 5 degrees on the northern and western sides.

Approaching front from the west on Saturday, Po valley filled with cold air (wetter3.de, DWD)
Approaching front from the west on Saturday, Po valley filled with cold air (wetter3.de, DWD)
Snow for Piedmont
Snow for Piedmont

Colder in the Southern Alps

In the Southern Alps, it will remain significantly colder in the coming days. The eastern regions of the Southern Alps in particular will benefit from the wintry conditions in South-Eastern Europe. Snow will only fall on Friday in Piedmont. The eastern flow will bring 5 to 15 centimetres of snow with a snowline around 1000 metres.

A front from the west that first brings snow in the Pyrenees will also approach the Western Alps on Saturday, but I expect it to stay dry for the most part. In the western Pyrenees, it might deliver 20 to 40 centimetres of snow in the high mountains until Saturday, but the rather mild southern flow will initially bring a high snowline of 1700-1800 metres. From Sunday onwards, a low-pressure area off the coast of Portugal will probably bring even more precipitation.

60 centimeters of fresh snow near Pelion
60 centimeters of fresh snow near Pelion
Pigadia (snowreport.gr)
Pigadia (snowreport.gr)
Kaimaktsalan (snowreport.gr)
Kaimaktsalan (snowreport.gr)

Snow in Greece

As mentioned before, in South-Eastern Europe it is winter again. In Greece, the cold wave has brought a lot of snow. The snowline last night was below 500 metres and locally it even snowed at sea level! In the Pelion area, 60 centimetres of fresh snow fell and the most famous Greek ski resort Parnassos received around 30 centimetres of snow. Until the end of the week, there is more snow to come in this area. With upper air temperatures between -5 and -10 degrees at 1500 metres, the snowline will be very low (around 500 meters).

Comments


  • LiBTech1978
    Advanced
    LiBTech1978 op 9 March 2022 · 15:32
    Bye bye winter see you 2023
  • Jonas Vad
    Beginner
    Jonas Vad op 9 March 2022 · 18:24
    For how long do you expect the Südföhn will last?
  • Jonas Vad
    Beginner
    Jonas Vad op 9 March 2022 · 18:24
    For how long do you expect the Südföhn will last?
  • Henri
    Beginner
    Henri op 9 March 2022 · 22:03
    It will likely last until Monday/Tuesday. On Sunday the föhn will be a bit less strong than the other days.

Reply

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