PA#6: Up to a metre of snow in Austria

PA#6: Up to a metre of snow in Austria
PA#6 is for the eastern part of the northern Alps
PA#6 is for the eastern part of the northern Alps

The Northern Alps are entering a snowy phase. Especially in eastern Austria, the Nordstau could yield up to a metre of snow locally until the end of the week. Time for the details of Powder Alert #6!

First snowfall last night

Last night, the first snowfall arrived. With a high-pressure area to the west of Europe and a strong low-pressure area over northern Europe, the Alps are in a north-westerly flow. Still, this first snowfall did not deliver much yet, as with increasing air pressure from the west, it will soon become dry again everywhere. From central Switzerland (a few centimetres), the amounts increased towards eastern Austria. Here, some 10 to 20 centimetres fell and snowing continued a bit this morning. Also today and tomorrow, with a persistent northern flow, it could continue to snow a bit, especially in eastern Austria. Further west I expect more sunshine.

The jet stream is directed on the eastern Northern Alps (meteociel.fr)
Snow for Austria, but the high pressure area also creeps eastwards (wetter3.de, DWD)

From Wednesday onwards more snow

During the night from Wednesday to Thursday, the Nordstau swells again and the strongest snowfall follows. The more western areas such as the Arlberg and eastern Switzerland also participate better now, but do not get as much as eastern Austria. The snowfall will continue through Friday afternoon. Thursday during the day some 10 to 30 centimetres have already been added (centre of gravity in eastern Austria, Salzburgerland, Upper Austria, north-western Styria), with some more in the stau areas as well. On Friday morning, half a metre has already fallen on a large scale higher up. In the aforementioned regions, we will see amounts of around metres in the stau areas. The snowline will stay down to most valleys.

The new run from the American model already shows markedly less precipitation for the regions west of Innsbruck, again due to increasing air pressure from the west. Just goes to show that even details of a solid Nordstau that has been on the weather maps for days can still change. So for Switzerland this is not good news and also for the Arlberg there is still some uncertainty as to whether so much snow can actually start falling. I ultimately expect around 30 to 50 centimetres in the Arlberg, but at the same time I must also add that it is quite possible that some more will still fall. It is not a typical Schneeloch for nothing.

Expected snow amounts according to our model
Expected snow amounts according to our model

Wind!

The jet stream is chasing over the eastern Alps during this snowfall and so there are stormy winds in the mountains as well. Wind slabs will be a problem and is currently (along with old snow) already a big problem! On Thursday in particular, the wind will pick up considerably and on Friday it will still be stormy higher up. So above all, don’t look high during these days and be extremely careful after that too.

Where to go?

I had already given some tips in my previous weather report. It is the typical Nordstau areas in the east that will get a lot. Look for it first especially in the lower forested areas. Hochkönig, Zauchensee, Fieberbrunn, the ski areas of the Schneebären card, etc. Here it will continue to snow on Friday and Saturday, while further west it will stop and may clear up. From Sunday it is still very uncertain, while the ECWMF might go for a new Nordstau phase, the GFS is still cautious.

To conclude: so also pay attention to the dangers of wind slabs and don’t dive into too high and steep terrain right away. Check the avalanche reports extensively and don’t be too quickly tempted to dive into steeper terrain!

Read also:

Henri
knows everything about new ski areas, lifts and projects.

Replies

Tourist
coldrainsnowAuthor31 January 2023 · 12:06

Merci Henri! Wish there was more coming toward Chamonix, but stoked for all of you in Austria!

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Luke___Author31 January 2023 · 12:42

Going to Austria for the weekend!!! Thank you for the info :)

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CamuschAuthor1 February 2023 · 10:25

Look promising for the east Alps. Thanks for your work Henri

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Luke___Author1 February 2023 · 11:23

https://cdn.wepowder.com/site/forum/15/766ca14905d18a50294f7b282d9ca613_6dbbf3d3_4897_437f_926e_ba3ac9ae9a6c.png?width=800Seems some warm wear coming, hope it’s just for few days https://cdn.wepowder.com/site/forum/15/eea0ed3b87a758ca909af50eac16ccb9_e15fb65a_51b4_4262_9719_319fce47a3f9.png

LiBTech1978 op 31 Jan 2023 15:36


Yep, noticed it as well in lower altitudes… fingers crossed it will disapear :)

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LiBTech1978proAuthor1 February 2023 · 13:50

https://cdn.wepowder.com/site/forum/15/766ca14905d18a50294f7b282d9ca613_6dbbf3d3_4897_437f_926e_ba3ac9ae9a6c.png?width=800Seems some warm wear coming, hope it’s just for few days https://cdn.wepowder.com/site/forum/15/eea0ed3b87a758ca909af50eac16ccb9_e15fb65a_51b4_4262_9719_319fce47a3f9.png

LiBTech1978 op 31 Jan 2023 15:36


Yep, noticed it as well in lower altitudes… fingers crossed it will disapear :)\

Luke___ op 1 Feb 2023 11:23

Let’s hope

Tourist
SnowTrackerAuthor1 February 2023 · 21:01

Is there a directory of the classic stau areas/resorts for each of the different weather fronts?

Tourist
Alpene2023cAuthor2 February 2023 · 08:47

Is there a directory of the classic stau areas/resorts for each of the different weather fronts?

SnowTracker op 1 Feb 2023 21:01

USE a little bit of imagination!!!

Tourist
SnowTrackerAuthor2 February 2023 · 09:13

Is there a directory of the classic stau areas/resorts for each of the different weather fronts?

SnowTracker op 1 Feb 2023 21:01

USE a little bit of imagination!!!

Alpene2023c op 2 Feb 2023 08:47

I’m curious from an intellectual perspective, that’s what makes the wepowder book so good. E.g. certain valleys I may have missed. Could also be helpful when assessing other mountain ranges

Simply tracking forecast snowfall is pretty dull.

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LeonardHAuthor2 February 2023 · 17:15

Anybody has a recommendation where to do good treeruns a little bit more west of the Hotspot area, more around Vorarlberg, where there is not as much chaos due to the massive snowfall?
We first wanted to go to Zauchensee but we’re not sure that’s the best choice now.
Appreciate any tips! :)

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Luke___Author3 February 2023 · 00:31

Anybody has a recommendation where to do good treeruns a little bit more west of the Hotspot area, more around Vorarlberg, where there is not as much chaos due to the massive snowfall?
We first wanted to go to Zauchensee but we’re not sure that’s the best choice now.
Appreciate any tips! :)

LeonardH op 2 Feb 2023 17:15


We will try our luck at Gosau…The plan from the last week was to go to Krippenstein :D

Tourist
opisskaAuthor5 February 2023 · 16:45

I was today in Saalbach, surprised by how much powder can be found here despite the lack of significant snowfall in last days according to forecasts. In the high alpine zone a lot of places are windblown down to ground or grass but a bit lower there are nice areas and there was pristine powder even in the afternoon if you were willing to walk a bit.

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