A sugar snow alert for the Alps

By meteomorris on 15 September 2016 · 0

It still feels like summer at the moment, but the highest peaks in the Alps will get a dusting of new snow this weekend. It's already snowing in the French Alps and the Pyrenees. And that's great news. The last significant snowfall was on the 14th of July and the glaciers are dying for great snow. A storm above the North Sea named Stephanie (with its origin at the Bay of Biscay) will breach the subtropical belt that's bringing high temperatures to western Europe. Cold air will find its way to the Alps and it's been a long time since we saw some freshies on the peaks.

Storm Stephanie
Storm Stephanie

The cold air is coming in from the southwest and is heading towards the northeast. Therefore it will snow already in the French Alps and western Switzerland today and the snowfall will extend through Switzerland and Italy to Austria on Friday. It will snow from time to time with a rising snow line between Saturday and Monday.

Snow is coming
Snow is coming

Tip: Tip: have a look at our snowmaps with detailled information

Snow line will drop locally to 2200 meters

The snow line will drop towards 2200 meters during the most intense precipitation on Friday and it locally might even drop to around 2000 meters. You can expect it to be between 2400 and 2800 meters on average. If you'll start searching on the webcams on Friday, you'll probably find a point where the snow will fall at lower altitude. You can expect around 20-40 centimeters of freshies above 3000 meters the next 48 hours. That's enough snow to put a smile on your face with this shot from Tignes from today.


It's only white temporarily

If you have a look at the webcams tomorrow and Saturday you might think that winter has started. But that's certainly not the case. The sun is still high in the sky so the snow doesn't win (yet) from the radiating sun. The snow will stick around on the glaciers. A fine layer of sugar snow in preparation for winter.

Position of sun per season
Position of sun per season

It will get colder in the Arctic from the 21st of September

The sun won't snow its face again on the North Pole from the 21st of September. It will stay away till the 21st of March. The North Pole is caught in darkness and the drop in temperature will begin. Especially since the part that no longer sees daylight gets bigger every day. This drop of temperature will make sure that we'll see the first outbreaks of cold air from the north. Of course you'll read it here when that happens.

I hope to publish a new sugar snow alert soon. Winter is coming!

Stay stoked


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