A powerful front pushes snow and rain clouds from the southwest against the Alps this Sunday. That first of all causes snow in the French Southern Alps, which later extends to the rest of the Southern Alps. But the center of gravity of the precipitation lies in the French Southern Alps where on average about 30-60 cm of fresh snow falls with outliers towards one meter above 1900 meters. The Alps will be under the influence of high pressure from Monday and with the exception of the south of the French Southern Alps, it will remain dry the coming working week. This makes it increasingly milder. There again storms in the forecast in the distant future, with still a chance of a northern Stau after next weekend as mentioned earlier.
In this forecast:
A storm located southwest of the Alps immediately provides snow for the Southern Alps in the beginning of December. In short, the pattern that was so dominant during SNOWvember is continuing in December. A storm with the name Olaf is located southwest of the Alps and pushes snow towards the French Southern Alps with a southwestern current.
It's snowing in this region since the night to Sunday and the precipitation will only intensify in the coming hours. There is heavy snowfall on Sunday afternoon in particular. The center of gravity of the precipitation lies in the areas south and west of the Ecrins, or just about the north of the Hautes Alpes. You can expect up to a meter of snow locally.
The precipitation spreads to the rest of the Southern Alps from midday and even the the French Northern Alps will see some snow. The center of gravity then slowly shifts from the Ecrins towards the south side of the Mont Blanc (Courmayeur), the Simplon and the Piz Bernina. With 15-30, locally 40 cm no unpleasant quantities but certainly not as much as around the Ecrins.
The snowfall spreads to the east in the night to Monday. Most of the snow will fall south of the main alpine ridge, but with a weak northern kickback, there's also some snow falling north of the main alpine ridge.
High pressure will take over from Monday. That quickly results in sun on Monday morning in the French Southern Alps and the rest of the Southern Alps. Let's say just about everything south of the Ecrins and everything south of the main alpine ridge.
There are still clouds to the north of the main alpine ridge. The mild air is blocked by inflowing colder air with the result that it can snow lightly in the north. In addition, with a surging eastern current on Monday at the end of the day some clouds can be pressed into the Po-valley, resulting in a weak return d'est in the night to Tuesday. It is only temporary and the amounts of precipitation are limited.
It will be sunny everywhere in the Alps on Tuesday. It will be nice to go touring with all the the fresh snow and the sun. Earn your turns!
With the high pressure north of the Alps, the supply of storm depressions for the north side of the Alps becomes impossible. At the same time there is a belt of low pressure above the Mediterranean Sea.
That already generates a lot of snow in the southeast of Europe on Tuesday. At the same time, a new storm is developing in the west of the Mediterranean, which causes a lot of rain around Barcelona in particular on Wednesday and a lot of snow for the higher parts of the Eastern Pyrenees. At the same time, higher clouds from the southwest move into the Alps on Wednesday. It is possible that this will cause snow in the extreme south of the French Southern Alps on Thursday, but this is still highly uncertain.
It becomes clearly milder in the Alps later in the week. The supply of cold air is then stopped. Fortunately it is clear and the air is dry so that little thaw can be expected above the tree line. From the weekend of December 7-8, the current would have to turn northwest if the models do not deceive us. It should then produce the first true northern Stau of winter '19 -'20.
The best conditions in the coming week in and south of the main alpine ridge. Also dream conditions in the French Southern Alps. With sun on Tuesday in the entire Alps, on Thursday in the west and north and Friday in the south, there are plenty of days to go touring.
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Stay stoked, Morris