First snow for Austria, then Piedmont


By Henri on 18 April 2022 · 0

Loads of snow for Piedmont?
Loads of snow for Piedmont?

Today another short update because snow is in the forecast. Our snowfall map shows a nice retour d'est, but will it happen?

Tomorrow snow in Austria

First of all, with a northeast flow we will see some snow tomorrow (Tuesday) for Austria. On the frontal analysis map with the surface isobars, the cause of this snowfall is not visible, but if we take the weather maps at 5 kilometres altitude, we can see an upper level low approaching from the east tomorrow with the green and blue colours.

Frontenkaart for Tuesday. What's causing the snowfall? (wetter3.de, DWD)
Frontenkaart for Tuesday. What's causing the snowfall? (wetter3.de, DWD)
Upper level low to the east of Austria (wxcharts.com)
Upper level low to the east of Austria (wxcharts.com)

The snowfall is mainly limited to the east of Austria. The snowline is quite low. In the east, it will be around 500 to 700 metres early on, but in the Salzburgerland region it will initially be just above 1000 metres. Later in the evening, most of the precipitation will follow and the snow line will also drop to around 600 to 800 metres in Salzburgerland. On the northern side, it could even snow down into the lowest valleys.

Snow amounts on Tuesday
Snow amounts on Tuesday

To the west of Salzburg the amounts will decrease quickly and to the west of Innsbruck it will stay mostly dry. Some 20 to 30 centimetres may fall in the Tauern and Dachstein regions, with possibly locally 40 centimetres higher up in the Dachstein and Totes Gebirge.

Snow for the Piedmont

In the second half of the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, the precipitation will move towards Slovenia and the Balkans and it will clear up quickly. At the same time, a southerly wind will set up precipitation in the south-western Alps. This precipitation is not caused by the aforementioned low pressure area east of Austria, but by another depression over the Mediterranean Sea. This depression can once again transport a portion of Saharan dust to the Alps. In combination with the precipitation, some deposition may therefore take place again.

On Wednesday, precipitation will be mainly limited to Piedmont with about 10 centimetres of snow. The snowline is still around 2000 metres. In the night to Thursday another precipitation area will follow from the south and the snowline will drop to around 1300 to 1500 metres, especially in Piemonte, with the high precipitation intensities possibly even lower. Especially the regions south of Turin will see rapidly increasing amounts of precipitation. Up here, a half meter of snow may fall.

Snow amounts until Friday evening according to our model
Snow amounts until Friday evening according to our model
Precipitation amounts ECMWF until Friday evening (wxcharts.com)
Precipitation amounts ECMWF until Friday evening (wxcharts.com)

Uncertainty

Our snow forecast map also shows a big dump near Turin and further north, but looking at the precipitation maps of the other models, I have my doubts. Most weather models show the high amounts only in a limited area south of Turin. Most areas in this region (Prato Nevoso, Limone Piemonte, etc.) are already closed, but maybe Prali will open the lifts this weekend.

According to our model, the rest of the southern Alps will also get some snow cover from Thursday night onwards, but this is also not quite done yet. The GFS indeed shows quite some snow around Trento, but according to other models the precipitation barely reaches these regions.

More snow to come?

After that, the low-pressure areas remain in the area and during the weekend there may be some more precipitation from the west with possibly also some cooling. For now, these developments are still somewhat uncertain. More info (also about the uncertain details of the snowfall in the southern Alps later this week) will follow on Wednesday in a new weather report.


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