Precipitation and snow from the west

Door meteomorris op 5 oktober 2015 · 0

King Winter already came along a couple of times the last few weeks. He dropped some snow in the northern Alps and in the Piemonte with the first retour d'est of this winter. We can expect some precipitation from the west now. Obviously it's all about snowfall at high altitude, but hey, the high alpine is getting white again! Remember it's only the beginning of October.


The weather was exactly like in our forecast and that is promising for this season as well. The snow line dropped to around 1400-1700 meters in the western and southern Piemonte, but fluctuated between 2000-2300 meters in the north. All in line with the forecast. The eastern current left the building in the night to Sunday and a front from the southwest kicked in. This resulted in lots of snow in the southwestern Stau regions of the Ecrins and the Monte Rosa and the first turns of the season were possible. Between 20-60 centimeters of freshies came down above 2500 meters.

The rewards were there. A classic 'earn your turns' morning delivered the first powder turns of the season! The skiing obviously wasn't full throttle, simply because there still are a lot of sharks and the season is still long.

The first powder turns in France this season

Short term

An active storm called "Rolf" disconnects himself from a deep core of low pressure above Iceland. Cold polair air is coming in from the northwest and Rolf is trying to bring that cold air to the Alps on Tuesday and Wednesday. At the same time, warm air is supplied from the southeast. It must be said that Rolf is doing all he can, but the high pressure area 'Oldenburgia' and its branches to the south is just too strong for good old Rolf. Although Rolf will bring all his moisture to the Alps, it's just isn;t cold enough. What good have lots of snowfall, will probably be lots of rain in the valleys.

Storm Rolf

But I'm not as negative as most of the weather models. Some cold air might come in on Wednesday and Thursday, causing the snow line to drop below 2000 meters. It won't be for long, but it will snow again in the high alpine. The glaciers in Austria, Switzerland and the region around the Ortler in Italy will profit. Friday might just be a powder day! You can find the numbers for the following days here and with some luck they might even be higher.

  • Tuesday: warm humid air from the west (Föhn in the northern Alps)

  • Wednesday: cooling down and snowfall above 2000 meters (the sun will come out in the western Alps later)

  • Thursday: last snowfall in the Austria and Italian main alpine ridge

  • Friday: powder day on the glaciers

Long term: hurricane pow(d)er?

It will take some time before (ex)-hurricane JOAQIN will come our way. This tropical storm is located near the east coast of the US at the moment. It will probably cross the Atlantic towards the European continent tomorrow. According to previous calculations it should head towards Great Britain, but the latest calculations show a course more south due to a strong high pressure area. The path of such ex-hurricanes is often difficult to predict, but it's worth following the next couple of days for two reasons:

  • Hurricane surf: these type of storms often choose a more southern direction in the Autumn and this might result in good surf.

  • But more important: A new return d'est? It just could happen. The models calculate a dominant high pressure area north of the Alps, and as a result JOAQIN would be forced to go to the Mediterranean. If there is some cold air left somewhere, we might hit the jackpot. The European weather model calculated such a scenario this morning. The American model, however, forecasts higher temperatures.

The next couple of days:

  • More about storm 'Rolf'

  • More details about the retour d'est and the influence of JOAQIN

Stay stoked



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