The next 72 hours will be interesting for the Italian Piedmont and the areas close to the Swiss-Italian border. A classic low pressure area developed over the Gulf of Genoa and that usually guarantees lots of precipitation. Is it enough for the first turns in the snow?
A small but strong Genoa Low
The snow line drops towards 1400 - 1700 meters locally in the Piemonte today and the snow will fall deep into the valleys. It may only be October 1st, but there's enough cold air present around the Alps. Additionally, the temperature might drop even further because of the massive congestion on the southern side of the Alps. But these cold temperatures are only south of the main alpine ridge. The northern and western Alps will have to deal with a strong Föhnwind and as a result the freezing level will rise to 3000 meters.
The Föhn diagram shows the rising southern Föhn
A retour d'est at his best?
In the middle of winter a Genoa Low like this one will guarantee a spectacle. And although the snow maps are showing colors that will make skiers and snowboarders happy, it's still only temporary. The supply of cold polar air is missing and the temperature will rise in the Alps. The snow line will rise again from 1500 to 2500 meters between Thursday and Saturday. It's sad but true. Congestion or not, the air temperature is too high to let it snow below 2500 meters. The map below shows you the calculated temperature for today and Saturday at an altitude of approximately 1400 meters. Conclusion: the freezing level in the southern Piedmont today is still hovering around the 1600 meters and will rise to 2500 meters on Saturday ( 0.7 to 1 degree cooling per 100 meters).
The temperature will rise
All this leads to the following picture.
Thursday: cold and snow line around 1400-1700 meters. Especially in the western and southern Piedmont a lot of snow
It will stop snowing in the Piedmonte on Saturday and the current turns to the southwest. The sun might come out on Saturday morning, but it will start snowing again south of the French Ecrins (and around the Monte Rosa) in the afternoon. The sun will come out on Sunday.
Saturday: warmer and snow south of the Ecrins, later expanding towards the Monte Rosa and northern Piedmont. Snow line between the 1900 and 2500 meters
Fresh snow on the maps
Few glaciers are open in this region. The glaciers of Saas Fee and Zermatt are going to get some snow, but there's a high probability that the clouds are too thick to ensure some visibility during the weekend. Another option is the Col d'Agnel. It looks like that the sun will come out on Sunday and plenty of snow is expected. This mountain pass is still open. The sun will come out on Monday in the rest of the Alps and you could ride some freshies around the Monte Rosa and the Stelvio on Tuesday.
After the weekend the freezing level fluctuates between 2500 and 3000 meters and the sun will come out. Significant snowfall isn't expected until the end of next week.