It's here. The first dump of winter 13/14. We've seen some nice images coming out of the higher alpine regions last week, but the first dump that will also hit the lower alpine areas has started. The first avalanche bulletin has been issued by the SLF in Switzerland and the webcams show a winter wonderland. And it's looking great:
The 17th of September is the first day (or first night to be more precise) that brought a lot of snow. The low pressure area Roland was doing its thing and fires a warm front and after that a cold front towards the northwest of France and the north of Switzerland and Austria. The snowline dropped to 1100-1500 meters and a lot of not-even-that-high-altitude areas received 5-10 centimeters, locally even 15 centimeters of snow. And that's even more in the higher alpine.
More warmer air from Wednesday
It's getting warmer on Wednesday
Roland is leaving the building as fast as he came in and the current will turn west. This means that another low pressure area (named Schorsch) is sending a warm front to the Alps. The snowline will be around 1100-1500 meters today, but will be at 2400 meters on Wednesday. To complete the yoyo effect: it will drop back to 1800-2100 meters later on Wednesday. Conclusion: a pretty good period with a lot of snow for the higher alpine regions.
It will be dry again as from Friday and a high pressure area will invade the Alps, resulting in sunny days and cold nights. This allows the snowpack to settle on the glaciers. The steepest northern slopes will start to work on their winter base. But I'm not sure if this little base will make it to winter. The sun is pretty high in the sky and that big yellow ball is just to powerful during this time of the year. But winter will take over. When we get there. For sure!
The high pressure area will keep dominating the weather till next week. And the next time snow is coming to the Alps, we'll forecast it. On this website and on Facebook and Twitter. Keep on liking and following and….WINTER IS COMING!