It is currently snowing heavily south of the Gotthard. It's snowing at the foot of the tunnel, which means that the snow line has dropped below 1000 meters. The southern Stau shows again what she's good at: lots of snow and a dropping temperatures. As usual, the small ski area of Airolo is now getting a lot of snow, but as usual the top lift is closed. Time for some lines in the playful terrain to the left of the Comascnè T-bar.
Southern Stau means Ticino. There are almost no places in the Alps where the storms are getting funneled as over there. They are pushed into the Val Bedretto over the lakes and their only option is to snow empty. In addition, there is always more snow coming down than forecasted and the snow limit is always lower than predicted. Ticino is a bit of a forgotten region. The ski resorts use Swiss prices, they are rather small and for many people a bit too far. The famous San Bernadino already had to close its lifts, so I cherish Ticino. My favorite destinations are Bosco Gürin and Airolo. Bosco is a bit of a drive when you live north of the Alps, but pretty good in the middle of winter. Unfortunately it's already the middle of March and there are a lot of south facing slopes here. So forget about Bosco for now. Now is the time to visit Airolo, where you can stay at the Lombardi family, Peter Forni or in the clean rooms of Garni Motta and where you can enjoy 2 to 3 days of the blessings of the southern Stau. Mind you, Airolo is an area that you need to get to know. The offpiste is not just for grabs and the navigation is sometimes a bit tricky, but with our inspirational routes you come a long way.
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And please do not say that I give away a secret. I have been coming to this area for 20 years now, it is too often quiet and the ski area and the village have a hard time. It needs our support and love. In Ticino you will find Cari and Nara-Leontica. Forget about Cari at this time of the year. Everything is facing south, but Nara has a mix of southern and northern expositions. If you know how to play with this, you will find more fresh snow than many people think. A road trip Ticino in combination with the south of and central of Graubünden or the ski areas just north of the Gotthard? Definitely do it!
The sun comes out in the northern Piedmont and Ticino in the course of the Thursday afternoon and the front moves towards the east. Due to the loss of the Stau on the south side, the air temperature is increasing. But because the weather is clear, the snow will be of good quality on Friday morning.
It's ON on Thursday afternoon and Friday in:
A good PowderAlert especially when you know the weekend starts mild.
The image above shows the weather for the next 24 hours in the nutshell.
But whoever looks at my map with the arrows sees that first there is a warm front coming in and that the cold front only comes in in the course of Sunday. Saturday starts mild and the warm front brings a snow line for Saturday and Sunday mornings which will fluctuate between 1100 and 1600 meters according to the current calculations. The freezing level is then around 1600-2000 meters. But there is cold air on the way.
The current turns northwest to north and cold air drops down towards the Alps in the course of Sunday (let's hope as quickly as possible, preferably in the night to Sunday). Because there is still a lot of moisture from the heat front, it snows heavily in the northwest and north of the Alps. This snowfall lasts until Monday and results in PowderAlert #16.
Because of these uncertainties, this is my advice for PA #15 and PA #16:
Donderdagmiddag, vrijdag en zaterdag:
Thursday afternoon, Friday and Saturday:
There is fresh snow in these areas, the sun comes out on Friday and Saturday so the snow can loose its moisture and the sun is present so you also have some visibility.
For Sunday: wait for my advice! You may be able to get in the car on Saturday night to drive towards the northwest, but if it stays mild for a long time, then you're probably better off in the south. The advice for Sunday is therefore subject to change.
Sunday and Monday:
You can expect 30-70 cm of snow in the regions mentioned above until Monday morning. The sun will come out on Monday and it looks like it will be a great day.
According to the latest calculations, a new storm (PA #17) will come in on Tuesday with mild temperatures first and snow from the southwest.
I hope you have a good idea for the coming days. The peak season ends this weekend, there is a lot of snow and there is snow in the forecast. Time for some nice road trips.
Stay stoked, Morris