On Wednesday I already issued PA#7 for a part of the Northern Alps that awaits us over the weekend, today an update on this snowfall. I also talked about the possible retour d’Est is likely to develop. That same evening, the model runs were already showing some nice snowy weather charts, but yesterday the weather models scaled down the snow amounts considerably! PA#8 for much of Piedmont is doubtful, but the south still seems to be able to expect quite a bit of snow.
Snow in the Pyrenees
In the Pyrenees, some 30 centimetres to half a metre of snow fell as expected and at the moment the sun is coming through wonderfully. Sunday and Monday could see another 10 to 20 centimetres or so, especially on the north and east sides now.
PA#7 - Wintry weekend on the north side
Tonight the cold front follows with snow in the Nordstau areas. The snowline drops to around 800-1000 metres, later also lower. Until tomorrow morning, some 10 to 20 centimetres will fall in these northern areas. Locally also 25 in e.g. Allgäu/Kleinwalsertal. However, this snow will be accompanied by strong winds during the cold front.
Further south, the air dries up due to Nordföhn and there will be significantly less snow in the inner-alpine ski areas as well! South of the Inntal in the Stubai/Ötztal Alps, for example, it could possibly only bring 1 to 10 centimetres. So by no means will snow conditions improve everywhere. In the inner-Alpine areas and further south it will remain reasonably dry due to Nordföhn. In the southern Alps, this will make it quite sunny. However, it will be very windy higher up (also inneralpine!) and in the föhn valleys.
Light snowfall over the weekend
During the weekend it will be cold (the strong northeast wind will make it even a bit colder) and the (light) snowfall in the northern Alps will continue. Saturday during the day, though a lot weaker (with possible clearings in the inner-Alpine areas), but in the night to Sunday just a bit stronger again and with a snowline down into the valleys. All in all, the northern areas can expect around 20 to 30 centimetres of snow through Sunday, possibly a bit more. Think of areas such as Allgäu, Tannheim, the Bavarian Alpine region and up to Loser - Altaussee. Note that these lower areas are far from having a base everywhere after the long dry and warm period!
The snow maps below (our model and Mitteleuropa Super HD model) also immediately show that the more southern areas in the Austrian Northern Alps already have less to expect. Also in Switzerland (with the exception of the northeast) the amounts remain limited.
PA#8 only for southern Piedmont?
The day before yesterday, I talked about the possible retour d’Est from Sunday afternoon that we saw on the weather charts, but also with a warning added that the snow amounts are far from certain as a change in the position of the Genoa low and a changing flow could possibly throw a spanner in the works for this snowfall. We then saw this immediately reflected in the models. That same evening, some brilliant maps came out with over a metre of snow possible, but yesterday the evening runs were already a lot more cautious with scaled-back amounts. Also this morning, the calculated amounts are considerably less than yesterday morning and the snow dump is limited to the southern areas in Piedmont. The Genoa low thus once again shows how difficult it is to predict, especially so several days in advance. The new runs, both last night and this morning, all calculate the core to be just a bit more southerly, which still seems to make much of this corner of the Alps miss the boat. For northern Piedmont and Oberwallis too, a region that has been suffering from snow shortages for some time, these developments are bitter and it now looks like it will remain mostly dry anyway. The southern areas seem very likely to still get enough, e.g. Mondolé Ski and Limone Piemonte, with over half a metre in all models, but even the slightly northern areas such as Prali get considerably less according to the European model. For the exact precipitation distribution, we will have to wait until tomorrow. At the moment, I don’t rule out the possibility that the models will backtrack a bit more. An additional update will follow.