A 'quattro stagioni' week is coming up


Par meteomorris sur 28 janvier 2019 · 8

For the first time this winter a real 'quattro stagioni week'. A week with snow and wind from all directions and temperatures that go up and down. Such a week where one morning gives you the feeling of being in the Artic, while the other morning a warm Föhn wind forces you to take a few layers off. It is the first time this winter that we are served a 'quattro stagioni'. You might feel 4 seasons in a week's time. Typically a week in which you can test your gloves, goggles, jacket and pants to the fullest.

A strong western jet stream will send at least 3 storms to the Alps over the next 8 days.

  • The first storm now passes the Alps and already provided 20-50 cm of fresh snow (even more on higher altitudes) in the northern French Alps on Sunday. This storm is now moving to the east, but also ensures fresh snow in the northwest and north of the Alps today (Monday). Particularly in the night to Tuesday there are substantial quantities coming down in the Swiss northern alpine ridge and the Austrian region of Vorarlberg (10-40 cm fresh snow). Tuesday starts with some sun everywhere, but a new storm will come in from the west in the course of the evening.

  • The second storm is moving into the Alps on Tuesday afternoon/evening. This storm is mainly focused on the French northern Alps. Most snow falls between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, but it can still snow lightly up to and including Thursday morning. You can expect another 10-35 cm of fresh snow.

Snow forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday
Snow forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday

  • The third storm is way bigger than the first ones, because the weather is dominated by an immense storm depression over France between Thursday night and Saturday, with a southwestern to southern current immersing the French southern Alps and the south side of the Alps in snow. The southern Alps didn't get any snowfall since Snowvember. The first PowderAlert of the season was for the south, but it all stopped after that. Too bad, because it looked so good. Now only the first storm with snow for the southern Alps in 2019 and only the second PowderAlert for the southern Alps this season.

Huge storm
Huge storm

A huge amount of snow falls in the French southern Alps and the southern Alps between Thursday and Saturday. At the same time, a strong southern Föhn will hammer the northern side of the main alpine ridge and will cause the freezing level to rise temporarily.

Once the low pressure area has passed the Alps, snow will follow for the northern Alps later, with possibly a storm after the weekend. That would be 4 storms, although the latter is certainly not sure yet. When all storm violence has passed, peace seems to return. All major models foresee high pressure from February 8th, but that is still hard to forecast.

The chase this week

Well, where to go next week? There will be snow for the northwest, west and south. The wind will be strong from time to time and the temperature will rise on Friday in the northern Alps. Who wants to ride powder every day follows this recipe this week.

PA#10: Tuesday

It snows again in the northwest in the night to Tuesday. Most snow will come down in the Swiss northern alpine ridge and the Austrian region of Vorarlberg where you can expect 20-40 cm of fresh snow. The sun will come out on Tuesday and it will be ON in:

You can also ride good powder in:

PA#11: Wednesday and Thursday

A new storm will result in fresh snow in the French northern Alps in the night to Wednesday, expect 10-35 cm of fresh snow. More than enough to make the tracks disappear again. Because the sun comes out again it is great to ride in:

But of course there is still good powder to be found in the areas in Switzerland and Austria that I mentioned above. If you go for a hike, you will certainly find powder. In addition, a flake may fall on Wednesday.

Stretch on Friday, ride powder on Saturday in the south (PA#12)

A huge storm pulls into the French southern Alps and the southern Alps in the night to Friday. Because the snow cover between the trees is too thin in many places (some ski resorts in the north of the French Hautes Alpes aside, just like the treeruns of Sestrière) treeruns are not really there. It's a nice day to stretch the legs, drive from the northwest to the south and/or enjoy the best espresso in the world in bella Italia.

You can also ride in the northern Alps on Friday, but pay attention. There is a strong southern Föhn, it is mild and the avalanche danger will rise. Especially in the vicinity of ridges large fresh storm slabs are created. Please watch out for that, also if you go on a tour and the wind in the valleys doesn't feel that strong. In addition, some lifts will definitely close temporarily.

Anyway, the front will be gone on Saturday, the current turns to the northwest and the sun comes out. Saturday and Sunday will be good powder days in the south, but note: 1. it is only the second period with snowfall and the snow cover is thin (real early season conditions) below 2000 meters, 2. a northern Föhn will kick in above the tree line on Saturday and this will result in fresh wind slabs (avalanche danger) and 3. the current snow cover is old and the new snow will not easily attach to it (= instant avalanche danger).

But nevertheless finally the first snow for the south and certainly a PowderAlert. I will focus my advice on where to go later this week. It will certainly not be the Dolomites, the snow cover is still too thin, also in the high alpine.

Long term: another storm and high pressure?

Once the southern storm has passed, there will be some snow again for the northwest in the weekend, but more importantly, cool air will flow into the Alps again. It is possible that after the weekend a 4th storm follows, but the models are still not sure. It would result in snow for the northern Alps so that after a week all parts of the Alps have seen snow, sun, wind and shifting temperatures. If the models are right, there will be high pressure and prolonged sun for the Alps after February 8th. But that's still far into the feature, so we need to have some patience.

  • Tuesday: sun and fresh powder
  • Wednesday and Thursday: snow for the French northern Alps
  • Friday: snow storm in the south, strong Föhn and mild in the north
  • Saturday: powder in the south, incoming snow in northwest
  • A 4th storm after the weekend?
  • Sun and calm weather after February 7th?

As wePowder Pro you get access to the 14-day snow and weather maps and the 14-day forecast per resorts (we've got all the resorts in the Alps covered). You never have to miss a dump anymore. When you are wePowder Pro you also have access to 1000+ inspirational freeride routes in the most beautiful freeride areas of the Alps. Sign up as wePowder Pro today. It works great for your karma as well and you'll support the development of the wePowder platform! Thanks!

Stay stoked Morris

Commentaires


  • ecsjones
    ecsjones op 28 janvier 2019 · 14:56
    Thanks Morris- This is very helpful. Do you have a grid for where North/South/East/West lands exactly in the Alps? Trying to figure out how to avoid the Foehn in the north but still have a decent base to ride and not chase all the way south 😃...
  • wayneo
    wayneo op 30 janvier 2019 · 06:49
    Hi from Perth, Western Australia. I'm heading to Saas Fee, Morgins (Switzerland) and Les Gets (France) between the 8-27th of March, are there any long range forecasts available so I can see what chance I am of getting some fresh snow?

    Cheers!
  • meteomorris
    Expert
    meteomorris op 30 janvier 2019 · 08:05
    @wayneo, forecasts that go further than 14 days make no sense. We do have 14 days forecast though. Upgrade yourself to wePowder Pro and get access too them. You also support the further development of our knowledge base. Cheers
    May the powder be with you.
  • meteomorris
    Expert
    meteomorris op 30 janvier 2019 · 08:06
    @escjones: is on my to do list. So busy at the moment.
    May the powder be with you.
  • funrise2000
    funrise2000 op 30 janvier 2019 · 09:28
    Hello Morris
    On which weather model is your forecast based?
  • meteomorris
    Expert
    meteomorris op 30 janvier 2019 · 11:04
    Hello Morris
    On which weather model is your forecast based?
    funrise2000 op 30 Jan 2019 09:28


    @funrise2000, you mean my written forecast? It is based on our model, WRF, GFS, ECMWF and hirlam. Besides I use other local sources to make a forecast for certain regions. Every day I scan all the models and try to make it understandable for you and other readers so that you can make better decisions and hopefully ride better, safer and deeper powder.
    May the powder be with you.
  • funrise2000
    funrise2000 op 30 janvier 2019 · 13:49
    Thanks for your Service and your answer!
  • scotty9
    Expert
    scotty9 op 30 janvier 2019 · 15:29


    @funrise2000, you mean my written forecast? It is based on our model, WRF, GFS, ECMWF and hirlam. Besides I use other local sources to make a forecast for certain regions. Every day I scan all the models and try to make it understandable for you and other readers so that you can make better decisions and hopefully ride better, safer and deeper powder.meteomorris op 30 Jan 2019 11:04


    And it's a great job - we all appreciate it! I've seen the improvement in accuracy over the years, it's such a fantastic resource for making the most of the ski season. Thanks!

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