PA#28: fresh snow for the northwest of Italy

PA#28: fresh snow for the northwest of Italy

A combination of powerful high-pressure areas over Russia and Scandinavia ensures that storm depressions are forced to head for the Mediterranean in the coming week. As a result, the Alps will be affected by a southeastern to southwestern this week, which will bring a lot of snow (and rain) to the northwest of Italy and the bordering areas. In this forecast:

  • A current from the south
  • Snow for the northwest of Italy, Föhn and mild temperatures in the rest of the Alps
  • PA#28 for…
  • There are still resorts open

A current from the south

Thursday and Friday were two good powder days (as expected). But in the meantime the current has turned to the south and the weekend is mild. For the first time the so-called ‘Tagesgang’ is consistently reported in the avalanche forecasts. This means that we are dealing with spring and that planning your tour carefully is necessary not to be surprised by wet snow avalanches in the afternoon. This is also reflected in the blogs of the avalanche services.

The current will remain south the next couple of days and it will remain mild on the northern side of the Alps. There is a Föhn wind in the forecast for Switzerland and Austria. A Föhn is a mild wind that warms up the snow cover and can locally result in windslabs in the high alpine.

Because the current turns to the south, clouds are pushed from the Po-valley against the south side of the Alps, which from time to time results in a lot of snow between Sunday afternoon and Thursday.

Southeatern current on Monday
Southeatern current on Monday

Snow for the northwest of Italy, Föhn and mild temperatures in the rest of the Alps

The Föhn will be strong on the north side of the Alps in the coming days. At the same time, it is snowing in the northwest of Italy. The bordering areas in France and Switzerland will also get some fresh snow. The snow line is initially high (1500-1900 meters), but drops towards 1200-1600 meters in the course of the week. The weather in the Alps will look a bit like this:

  • Sunday/Monday: it snows in the western and southern Piedmont and the bordering resorts in France (with a current from the southeast). Snow line around 1600-1900 meters and heavy snowfall n the night to Monday
  • Monday/Tuesday: a new front pulls into the Alps. The current is slightly more southwest, which results in snowfall in the south of the Ecrins, but especially south of the Monte Rosa, Gotthard and Piz Buin. That’s the north of the Hautes Alpes, the northern Piemonte, Ticino, Lombardia, the southwestern Engadine and Haut Valais. Snow line between 1300 and 1700 meters.
  • Tuesday/Wednesday: the current turns back to the southeast. There is a lot of snow in the forecst for the entire Piedmont and bordering areas. The snow line will slightly rise and will fluctuate between 1400 and 1900 meters.
  • Wednesday/Thursday: the center of gravity moves towards the north of Italy and the air cools down. There’s still some snowfall in the Piedmont, but now also in Ticino, Lombardia and the Dolomites. The snow line drops towards 1200-1600 meters.

PA#28 for…

PowderAlert #28 is ON, but this is certainly not a cold smoke blower pow alert. You will only find dry snow above 1700-2000 meters in the coming days. In addition, it’s April and the sun is already strong. In short, you have to search for resorts at high altitude. Ideal are those areas where the larches grow high and on northern slopes so that you have plenty of perspective during the snowfall of the coming days. Another advantage: the snow is not directly heated by the sun. There will be a powder alert for the following regions the next couple of days:

From Thursday also in:

Please be aware of an increasing avalanche risk, that might result in the temporary closure of (parts of) the ski areas.

There are still resorts open

Are there still ski areas open in the regions mentioned above? Hell yes. And not only there. Because of the thick snow cover after an excellent winter, some areas have decided to stay open longer. Up to and including early May, you can still score powder in many alpine countries.

A few nice days in the Piedmont are coming, but be aware that it is April.

Stay stoked



kade122Author10 April 2018 · 20:36

Hi Morris. Thank you for the update. We are flying into Geneva late Thursday night. We are debating whether to head south through the Mt Blanc tunnel to Gressoney or head west towards Zermatt. We would appreciate your thoughts on where you think would be best. Happy to think about alternate suggestions as well. On one hand, we like the idea of skiing the trees on Friday on Punta Jolanda in Gressoney, then maybe moving up into the alpine but we are also worried about the more south facing slopes in the Monterosa area and the rising temperatures over the weekend. We would appreciate your thoughts! Regards, Kade

KarlisAuthor11 April 2018 · 12:02

Hey Kade, I’m also looking for a place to enjoy some pow. I wouldn’t recommend Greysoney. A better bet would be La Thuile or Courmayeur.

Sending it :)
Falcon888Author11 April 2018 · 12:43

Hi Morris. Just a quick question. Tonale looks good on your map with 153cm. Does it worth visiting for friday saturday? Do still expect so much snow?

Falcon888Author11 April 2018 · 12:43


meteomorrisAuthor11 April 2018 · 17:15

@@kade122 treeruns will be difficult. Friday will be okay, but temperatures are expected to rise rapidly during the weekend. Punta Jolanda high up will be okay, but don’t expect to ride powder towards Gressoney base. Both Zermatt and Gressoney have treeruns so both will be a good choice, but do accept that it will warm up rapidly during the weekend. Thursday and Friday will be good, Saturday okayish and Sunday mild and snow only higher up. @@Karlis is suggesting some good alternatives although they will get less snow. Val d’Isere can also be okay.

How long will you be on a trip?

@@Falcon888 I am less positive than our maps regarding Tonale. I do expect up to 50 cms for the next 3 days. Friday and Saturday will be good for the time of the year.
kade122Author11 April 2018 · 22:59

Hey Morris - Thank you for giving us your thoughts. We are going to head towards Val d’sere in the end. We know the area well and hopefully can manage the terrain with the warming temperatures. We are only in the Alps for a long weekend. Arrive tomorrow night and then back on Sunday. Will report back in on how it went! All the best

meteomorrisAuthor12 April 2018 · 09:22

@@kade122, okay. Have fun!
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