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WeatherBlog 4 2019/20 | Up and down with the west slide

Changeable from the west!

by Lea Hartl 12/11/2019
A strong westerly flow will bring fronts and intermediate highs in rapid alternation. For the most part, it will remain too warm for the lowlands, but there will be more snow at higher altitudes. The western Alps are favored, in the east there will only be grazing snow.

Current situation and outlook

The polar vortex, the fickle engine of our winter weather, currently has two fairly pronounced centers, one in the Greenland/NE Canada area and one opposite in Siberia. For the USA and Canada, this results in the now familiar pattern: very cold and snowy in the eastern half, mostly dry and very warm in the western half as far north as possible.

The events in the Atlantic are decisive for our weather. Thanks to the polar vortex, persistently cold air from the polar region is pumped southwards between Greenland and Canada. The meeting of cold air and comparatively warm seawater promotes the development of low pressure there. This in turn creates the strong westerly current over the Atlantic. Embedded in this, new frontal systems reach us one after the other, which are interrupted in between by short windows of sunlight.

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In concrete terms, this means that temperatures fluctuate relatively strongly - at the front of each new trough, we enter a WSW flow and warm air is fed in. Once the trough passes, it will get colder again on the back side with a north-westerly flow. Then it will be sunny for a short time before the game starts all over again. Today, Wednesday, will be mostly on the sunny side of the rollercoaster, but the next disturbance will approach from the west in the evening. This will bring precipitation during the night and on Thursday morning, especially in the west, but much less in the east. After brief clearings on Thursday afternoon, the next, probably somewhat heavier, load of precipitation will arrive in the night to Friday, again from the west, initially with milder temperatures. It will remain rather cloudy all day on Friday and we suspect that our colleague the oracle will be in touch again. The weekend will also be unsettled. It will be a little colder again on Saturday. If you want sunshine, you're best off in the south-east.


The signals from the crystal ball are still unclear. In principle, the active Atlantic will continue, but this also means that the battle between the Azores High and the Atlantic troughs in the westerly drift will continue. If the Azores High manages to bulge a little more, the westward slide will be halted relatively quickly. The European model (and to a lesser extent the American model) currently sees a very winter-unfriendly "much too warm & dry" option for next week, but let's just hope that the weather spirits change their minds.


Miscellaneous things that the WeatherBlog has seen on the internet and found interesting:

Animated graph of global warming since the 1950s as a function of latitude.

Graphic by Twitter user @g_fiske, which, like the animation above, shows that the Arctic is getting warmer much faster than other regions.

And: meditative, dark scrolling through the deep sea to the ocean floor! If you do this before you go to bed, you might dream of deep-sea fishing.

Photo gallery

This article has been automatically translated by DeepL with subsequent editing. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors or if the translation has lost its meaning, please write an e-mail to the editors.

Show original (German)

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