A storm above the Mediterranean determines the weather in the Alps

By meteomorris on 18 February 2018 · 0

Around 30-50 cm of fresh snow came down in the northwest and west of the Alps since Friday. The sun comes out from the west today and the sun was already shining in the southern French Alps this morning. Same story for the northern French Alps and western Switzerland (although you had to go to the highest peaks). Check out La Grande Motte in Tignes this morning! Sun, fresh snow and cold.


But when you turn around and look towards the Gran Paradiso, you'll see a sea of clouds with gray weather in the valleys, with the sun shining above 2500 to 3000 meters. Same goes for Val Thorens and Verbier.

Val Thorens
Val Thorens


In this forecast:

  • Sunny in the western Alps, cloudy in the south and the east
  • Sunshine everywhere on Monday
  • A new storm coming in on Tuesday
  • From Wednesday: sun in the west, but cloudy in the rest of the Alps
  • Really low temperatures coming up?

Sunny in the western Alps, cloudy in the south and the east

The day started sunny in the southern French Alps today and the sun is already visible on the higher peaks in the northwest of the Alps. The elevation where the clouds end is around 1600-1900, so the best choice today was to go up high! The clouds are more persistent in the rest of the Alps and especially in the southern Alps the chance of sun is minimal today. You might even expect a flake of snow.

Sunshine everywhere on Monday

The sun will succeed to get out in more places tomorrow. It will be a sunny day especially on the highest peaks and there is still plenty of fresh snow to be found. Do not be fooled by the clouds when you open the curtains tomorrow. The sun will shine on the mountains. Enjoy it!

A new storm coming in on Tuesday

The map above shows the calculated pressure distribution for Tuesday. A storm depression over Rome determines the weather in the Alps. Moist air is pressed against the French Alps and the west of Switzerland west of that depression with a northern current. To the east, moist air is pressed against the eastern Alps with a current from the southeast. Because the current in the eastern Alps keeps moving from the southeast to the northeast, the precipitation spreads to the north of the Salzburgerland and Styria over the course of the day. At the same time, the Po-valley is filled with clouds.

This results in some snowfall in the French Alps and northwest Switzerland on Tuesday, but the quantities are rather disappointing. It snows in the east of the Alps and it will continue until Thursday according to the current calculations. It will start snowing in the Alpe Adria at first, but it expands to the rest of Carinthia and eventually to the Salzburgerland and Styria later. A PowderAlert is in effect especially in this part of the Alps from Wednesday. Last but not least, with a current from the east there are good chances for snow for the Italian Piedmont. That is not entirely sure yet.

From Wednesday: sun in the west, but cloudy in the rest of the Alps

Humid air is continuously pressed against the eastern and southern Alps with a current from the east to northeast. This results in small chances of sun in Italy and Austria according to the current calculations, but a good chance of fresh snow. At the same time it will be sunny in the French Alps and Switzerland, where the west sees more sun than the east. Time to go touring. The sun will come out later this week in Austria. But: this is according to the current calculations. Depressions in the Mediterranean are unpredictable! We'll see how it develops the next couple of days.

Really low temperatures coming up?

Really low temperatures are lurking. The cold air is coming in from the east of Europe and the last calculations show really low temperatures by the end of next week with great chances of very cold weather in the eastern Alps.

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