Will we get the Nordstau next week?

By Henri on 25 January 2023 · 6

Koralpe today
Koralpe today

As usual, the Retour d'Est left behind quite a bit of snow. Initially, the models were still a bit cautious, but at the last moment they calculated those large amounts in a short time again. South of Valle di Susa, over half a metre of snow came down on a large scale, with some peaks of up to a metre.

Taking a breather

In the rest of the Alps, calm has returned and it is a beautiful winter day with plenty of sunshine. In the northern Alps, it is accompanied by low-hanging clouds in many valleys. The sun also returned in the south-eastern Alps after the stormy snowfall. Locally, snow amounts reached almost one and a half metres in the Karawanken region. In Koralpe, a metre of snow fell, but as expected, this was also accompanied by very strong winds. The other regions (Carinthia, southern Salzburgerland, the Dolomites) also benefited from this snowfall. Here, some 10 to 30 centimetres of snow fell, locally some more.

Looks good, right? (wxcharts.com)
Looks good, right? (wxcharts.com)
...But GFS calculates rising air pressure as a spanner in the works (wxcharts.com)
...But GFS calculates rising air pressure as a spanner in the works (wxcharts.com)

Finally a Nordstau?

All eyes are now focused on early next week, because is that Nordstau finally coming? The good news: yes! The bad news: as I mentioned last Monday, the high pressure area west of the Alps could (and likely will!) cause a spanner in the works. According to the GFS, this now seems particularly the case for the Western Alps, but also in the Northern Alps the calculated amounts have already been scaled back. Remember, we are talking about a weather situation that won't start for about 120 hours (5 days). So drawing conclusions too early makes no sense yet.

What do we know at the moment?

  • From tomorrow, colder air will flow in again from the northeast. The peak of this cold will be Saturday morning with temperatures below -10 degrees at 1500 metres in Austria. With clear skies, it can obviously cool down considerably during the nights.

  • The eastern and northern Alps will have to deal with more clouds and occasional snow in the coming days, especially along the northern alpine edge. However, much more than a few centimetres will not result. Inneralpine there is already clearly more room for sunshine, just like in the southern Alps. The weekend will be fairly sunny almost everywhere, with clouds in the valleys on the northern side.

  • Monday increasing cloudiness from the north: starting Nordstau in the evening/night with Nordföhn on the southern side. The snowline is low and especially in Austria, quite a bit of snow could fall. An estimate at the moment: 20 to 30 centimetres should be quite possible (possibly a bit more in the stau areas). Further to the west in Switzerland, it still strongly depends on the high-pressure game breaker that lurks. Areas like Engelberg are really still on the edge of a potential nice layer of snow or even nothing at all at the moment. I would not be surprised if the weather models shift the snowfall a bit further east in the coming days!

The next few days I will be on the road. I will of course continue with weather reports and updates, including on this expected snow on the northern side of the Alps, but depending on the internet, it might take a bit longer.

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  • LiBTech1978
    LiBTech1978 op 25 January 2023 · 13:51
    Thanks as always Henri)
  • Trapoutre
    Trapoutre op 25 January 2023 · 16:12
    Thanks Henry, have fun! A small update would be welcome to see how far the high pressure will get!!
  • abagewitz
    abagewitz op 25 January 2023 · 16:52
    When do you think that the situation for St.Anton will for the later part of next week will be more or less certain related to how it lookes today?
  • coldrainsnow
    coldrainsnow op 26 January 2023 · 07:33
  • abagewitz
    abagewitz op 26 January 2023 · 07:56
    What are your thoughts about the chances that the prognosis for St Anton for next weekend is correct? When do you think one can say for sure if there will be snow or not?
    *message edited by abagewitz op 26 Jan 2023 08:01
  • Luke___
    Luke___ op 26 January 2023 · 16:56
    Thank you, your updates are really informative !!! 😃


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