The long-term omega blockade in which high pressure areas dominate the weather in Central Europe is coming to an end. We are cautiously heading for winter, with two nice previews today and towards the end of the week. It will not feel like winter for a longer period of time, but we can at least look forward to a more dynamic weather type. Only the Southern Alps seem to be getting off the hook for the time being.
A strong cold front arrived in the Western Alps from the west last night. Strong gusts of wind occurred during the passage of the cold front. The highest peaks of the Jura already had to deal with gusts of wind above 100 kilometers per hour yesterday evening, but last night on the Pilatus and Les Diablerets - Glacier 3000 the short moment of precipitation was accompanied by strong gusts of wind up to more than 100 kilometers per hour as well. Above 2300 meters it has snowed about 5 to 15 centimeters, below (up to 1800 meters) it was only a cosmetic layer.
While the sun is coming out rapidly from the west today, it will remain cloudy in Austria and in north-east Italy until noon with some precipitation. Snow falls above 1500 meters here, but here too it will be little more than a cosmetic layer. Only in the Julian Alps around 20 centimeters of snow can come down.
As of tonight, a high-pressure area will take over again, which means Wednesday will be dry and very sunny in particular. An offshoot of a weak occlusion front above Germany may cause some clouds on the north side (especially the Eastern Alps) tomorrow, but it will remain as good as dry. The lowest valleys and the pre-Alps will again have to deal with persistent low-hanging clouds on Wednesday that will only dissolve towards the end of the day.
A cold front will arrive from the northwest in the course of Thursday. Although this precipitation will only be short-lived, more will soon follow. Because a depression across Scandinavia moves east towards the Baltic States, the pressure distribution is temporarily ideal for an Arctic slide to the Alps. Initially, the snow line at the passage of the cold front on Thursday is still at 2000 meters, but it can soon snow above 1200 meters. Due to the northern current (a short Nordstau) on Friday with temperatures around -6 degrees on 850 hPa (about 1500 meters altitude), the snow line will eventually reach the most valleys.
On the north faces, work is being done on the base above 2000 meters, which will most likely not disappear after this snowfall. From Wallis to Austria, according to current calculations, about 20 centimeters of snow could fall, but I must add that high pressure is lurking. With a core above Britain, the Western Alps will receive little anyway, but if the weather models move the high-pressure area a little further east in the coming days, this might be the real party stopper. More about this in my weather forecast this Thursday.
Although the fronts from the northwest are a good sign for the north side, the Southern Alps mainly remain sheltered. According to the GFS ensemble, the chances of precipitation for the next 10 days remain low for Italy. The European model also shows little winter outlook (with the exception of some light snowfall in the Dolomites on Thursday and Friday).
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