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Wind & weather conditions on the Simplonpass

North- or Southföhn

Located at 2000 meters, the Simplon pass forms the connection between the Valais and Italy. At this meteorological divide between north and south, pressure differences occur frequently resulting in good wind conditions. Northerly foehn usually means good weather and perfect conditions. Southerly foehn can lead to fog and snow fall. Southerly foehn means a lot of fresh snow on the Simplon, due to the natural geographic barrier to the south and the resulting uplift of air. Northerly foehn rarely results in fresh snow. The weather conditions on the Simplon are mostly determined by the weather from the south.

Ideal wind directions for snow kiting on the Simplon

Because the pass forms a north-south connection, the winds are mainly NW-N-NE and S-SW. One gets perfect conditions both with northern and south-westerly winds. All westerly wind conditions are extremely dangerous, because these winds tend to change direction very quickly and randomly, their gusts extremely complicating the circumstances. Therefore, in order to catch the perfect conditions on the Simplon, one needs some experience. Ideally, Windfinder would predict NW or northerly winds. Should that be the case, one definitely also needs to check with Meteoblue on 700hPa, because if the upper air flows at 3000m are too strongly from a westerly direction, the wind conditions on the pass will be strong northerly gusts.
At 3000m winds from NW-N directions mean, conditions are just perfect! The same is valid for S-SW winds. Should the wind direction at 700hPa be too westerly or south-easterly, there may be gusty wind conditions. If the wind direction at this altitude is south-westerly, you can look forward to a great day with perfect conditions. In addition the wind force on the Simplon pass, especially for strong northerly winds (12-18kn on Windfinder), is relatively moderate and rarely exceeds 5bf.

As of December, should there not be an undercurrent, then, providing good thermic conditions, you can look forward to morning north-easterly winds. These winds usually come at 10-15kn and last till about 11am. Forecasts for morning winds: Windfinder should announce a thermic northern current for the morning. If you can only see violet on Windfinder, the conditions for a successful morning session are rather gloomy.

For a general weather forecast: ST Meteo
Check the Föhn diagram: Föhndiagramm
Streamlines from Meteoblue: Meteoblue at 700hpa (3000m) and wind 10 m over ground
Avalanche danger: Check SLF Lawinenbulletin
Dynamic Live Webcam Simplonpass

Forecast model of the Simplon Pass weather station


Wind Diagram Simplon

Webcam Simplonpass