Up to half a meter of snow in the forecast

Up to half a meter of snow in the forecast

The quiet and calm autumn weather in the Alps is about to end. The last significant snowfall was on October 6th and after that date a massive high-pressure area managed to keep the storms at a distance. This will change this weekend. A cluster of storm depressions penetrates the Alps from the northwest and will opens the door for cold air and snow above 1000 to 1500 meters. In this forecast:

  • New website, more detailled weather model
  • Cluster of storm depressions
  • Cold air from the northwest
  • Snowfall for the northern Alps on Sunday and Monday
  • Fresh snow for the glaciers

New website, more detailled weather model

You probably noticed that the new version of wepowder is live. Launches as big as this one always come with a couple of bugs and our technical team is working overtime to fix everything and make the ‘wepowder experience’ even better. If you have any comments or want to report a bug just let us know! It’s highly appreciated!

The core of the new site is our new and more detailed weather model. Over the past year, we’ve been having talks with scientists, meteorologists, GIS experts and freeriders. We also pushed ourselves to the limits of what’s technically possible. Our goal was simple: develop a highly detailed weather model. A lot of weather models work with rough grids, which means that the snowfall is calculated to rough and usually not accurate. Other models show detailled snow maps, but often just for one day.

Our model shows when the snow will come down; in the morning of in the evening, which allows you to arrive in time. We use a very fine grid (which gives us a lot of details), it shows details per day (when will the snow fall) and we can do this 14 days in advance (which is pretty unique). I’ll write an extensive article about the weather model next week. We’ll keep putting more love in our model and develop more features to give you the best snow forecast experience possible. One of the most complex bugs we’re dealing with right now is the snow that’s coming down in the valleys. There’s still too much snow calculated for the valleys for this weekend, but we’re working on it!

Generating models and data like this doesn’t come for free. That’s why we’ve introduced the wepowder Pro accounts. This account gives you access to a lot of data, but you’ll also support the development of wepowder. There are a lot of great features we want to develop and we can speed this up with your help. For just over two euros per month you not only reward yourself with the best snow forecast available, but you’ll also support the platform!

Cluster of storm depressions

Okay, back to the weather in the Alps. There is a cluster of storm depressions getting ready to make a big entrance. This cluster will be able to reach the Alps this weekend. There was no movement in the upper air layers for weeks, but these storms will manage to reach the Alps.

The storm depressions are already heading towards the Alps on Friday, but the high-pressure area is still pretty powerful. It will take another 48 hours before the fronts reach the Alps. The western Alps will already see some clouds on Thursday and Friday, but it will really start snowing in the night from Saturday to Sunday.

Cold air from the northwest

Cold air will arrive in the Alps in the night to Sunday and it will immediately start snowing. You can check it out on our 850 hPa maps on the forecast page how the cold air arrives in the Alps. The blue air will come in from the northwest and the temperature will drop.

The Alps will have to deal with cold air at least till the night to Tuesday. The eastern parts of Austria will profit the longest. The snow line will temporarily drop to 1500 meters (locally to 1000 meters) between Saturday night and Tuesday morning and this will result in lots of fresh snow. Mild air will arrive in the Alps after Tuesday, but you don’t have to expect precipitation thanks to the rising air pressure.

Snowfall for the northern Alps on Sunday and Monday

A current from the northwest usually means snow for the northwest and the north of the Alps. But the front that reaches the Alps on Saturday afternoon won’t really hit the western Alps. The northern French Alps and western Wallis will only see some fresh snow in the high alpine (10 cm, locally 15 cm). Much more snow will be seen on the webcams of the ski areas on the north side of the main alpine ridge. It will be snowing there on Sunday and Monday. The big question is where the center of gravity of the precipitation will end up. The models now expect that the Hohe Tauern in Austria will hit the jackpot, but this could change into the northern Swiss alpine ridge tomorrow. This has to do with the speed with which a new high-pressure area is pushing from the west. If this is slower than expected, Switzerland will get the most fresh snow. And if it’s faster… well, Austria will get some. You can expect around 15-30 cm of fresh snow above 2000 meters. In the high alpine this can rise to 50 cm and locally more.

Fresh snow for the glaciers

The sun will come out after Monday and the glaciers in Austria and Switzerland will have great conditions. An autumn like this has something for everyone, except for most of the French glaciers. The glacier of Les 2 Alpes is closed at the moment due to the lack of snow… And they still have to wait for fresh snow, because high pressure will kick in again and the weather will be sunny and dry in the Alps.

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