Fresh snow for the Alps, but rising temperatures on the way


Door meteomorris op 7 maart 2018 · 3

It was snowing in the Alps today. A small front moved into the Alps and brought 10-30 cm. That's enough for a small PowderAlert. The sun will come out on Thursday. Friday will be sunny as well, but it will start snowing (and lots of rain will come down as well) again from Saturday till Monday. It seems to be the prelude to a relatively mild second week of March. In this forecast:

  • It was snowing today
  • PA #20 is ON from Wednesday to Friday
  • Southern Stau with snowfall and rain
  • PA #21 comes with restrictions

Fresh snow in the Montafon
Fresh snow in the Montafon

Fresh snow in Engelberg
Fresh snow in Engelberg

It was snowing today

It has been snowing in the Alps since Tuesday. A reasonably active front is currently moving from west to east across the Alps. This leads to the most snowfall in the northwest of the Alps and in and around the main alpine ridge in Austria. It will continue to snow until Wednesday night. 10-30, maybe 40 cm of fresh snow came down. Just enough or just not enough for a PowderAlert. You need to be lucky tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Where the snow falls on top of a hard base layer, it is just not enough, but where the current base is still soft there is enough to ride powder on Thursday and Friday.

Snow for the west and northwest and the main alpine ridge in Austria

It was still snowing on the south side of the Alps earlier this week, but it mainly snowed in the west, the northwest and the main alpine ridge in Austria today. The temperature temporarily drops, the snow line drops as well and some cold snow came down. The sun comes out on Thursday and you can certainly find some good snow. The course of the weather will look something like this the next couple of days:

  • Thursday: the current will turn to the south and the temperature will rise. The day will start sunny everywhere, but you can expect some snowfall in the southwest by the end of the day.
  • Friday: the day starts with some clouds in the north, but there's definitely some room for the sun as well. A good day!

PA #20 is ON from Wednesday to Friday

  • Thursday: get up early, the temperature will rise. It will be sunny and you'll find the best conditions in the morning. You can still find some nice lines in the high alpine in the Haute Savoie and the northwest of the Alps (including Vorarlberg and the resorts close to the main alpine ridge in Austria).
  • Friday: You can still find some nice lines in the high alpine in the Haute Savoie and the northwest of the Alps. The temperature will rise.

Föhn chart Switzerland
Föhn chart Switzerland

Southern Stau with snowfall and rain this weekend

The föhn chart above clearly shows how the Alps will have to start to deal will a strong current from the south from Thursday. The föhn storm from the south is ON from Saturday. This means mild weather on the north side of the Alps and southern Stau on the south side of the Alps. You'll notice this first in the western Alps, but the Föhn will hit Austria as well from Sunday.

Föhn chart Austria
Föhn chart Austria

The chart above clearly shows that the Föhn will reach Austria on Sunday. A very powerful storm depression over the British Isles sends very mild air to the Alps with a southern current. At the same time, there is a small low-pressure area west of the Alps that will provide some extra dynamic.

Mild air from the south on Saturday
Mild air from the south on Saturday

some 'colder' air on Sunday
some 'colder' air on Sunday

The Alps will have to deal with the storm above from this weekend. A lot of moisture is pressed against the southern Alps with a southwestern current. This causes snow (and rain) in the southern Alps and Föhn on the northern side of the Alps. According to the latest calculations, this weekend will look like this:

  • Saturday: snow on the south side of the Alps, including the southern French Alps. The snow line will be around 1600-1800 meters, but can drop to 1300 meters with intense precipitation. Dry snow only falls above 1900-2100 meters. Expect 10-25, locally 30 cm of fresh snow. It is temporarily warmer in the night to Sunday.
  • Sunday: it will be a bit 'cooler' with lots of snowfall on the south side of the Alps. The snow line drops in the course of the morning, but the timing is still very uncertain because of the sub-core close to the Alps. It is going to snow heavily. The cooler air that enters the Alps from the southwest wipes out the warm clouds so that every drop falls like snow above 1300-1800 meters.
  • Monday: a cold aftermath from the northwest with snow for the northwest of the Alps. Snow line will rise temporarily to 1000 meters or lower.

It will be a difficult weekend to ride powder with good visibility this weekend. It will be difficult due to the Föhn on the north side of the main alpine ridge. The challenge on the south side of the Alps will be to find powder in the trees. I think it will be possible to find acceptable treeruns on Saturday and Sunday. The sweet spot of the precipitation will probably be around the Gotthard and the southern Engadin, but this might change. For those who really want to go next weekend, there are some opportunities. It certainly will not be as epic as last week, but I'm going to do my best to help you make the most out of it in the coming days.

It looks like the second week of March will be mild.

Stay stoked. Morris

Reacties


  • Patakmeder
    Patakmeder op 8 maart 2018 · 16:40
    Thank you Morris for the detailed forecast as usual!

    do you have any recommendation for next week? what about Sulden, Ortler in Italy? https://wepowder.com/en/sulden-solda
    how is this area affected by the Föhn wind?
  • meteomorris
    Expert
    meteomorris op 8 maart 2018 · 21:30
    @Patakmeder Thank you! What do you mean with next week? From when to when?
    May the powder be with you.
  • Patakmeder
    Patakmeder op 8 maart 2018 · 23:48
    from 12th to 18th of March

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