These days are all about a northwestern Stau with a lot of snow. The first snow phase is now over, but there is much more to come! After a short break, it will start snowing again in Western Switzerland and the French Northern Alps until Friday, and considerable amounts of snow can come down.
In the northwestern Stau areas, it has snowed on a large scale and they got around 30 to 50 centimeters so far. In Wallis in particular, there has been even a little more locally. Something I did not mention in the weather report on Monday is that the wind has now picked up considerably during the snowfall. Especially tonight and in the night to Thursday (at the same time as the peak of the precipitation) the wind is very strong. In addition to the nasty 'old snow' problem that many areas in the Northern Alps had to deal with recently, we now also have to deal with wind-drifted snow on a large scale.
As mentioned, the first wave of snow has now passed in most areas. Only in the Salzburgerland and around Grenoble it can snow a little longer. Almost everywhere it's dry during the day and gray with some snow that does not allow the snow cover to grow further. In Austria, the sun can even come out in many places (especially in the somewhat wider valleys), so that the sun can be seen for a while.
Only in the course of the afternoon does the intensity of the snowfall increase again from the (north) west. First it starts to snow a lot again in the French Northern Alps. By the end of the afternoon, Switzerland and Vorarlberg will also be covered in snow again. Tonight, the snowfall is also spreading further east.
Due to the low pressure area above Germany and the subsequent northern current, Austria will also receive some snowfall from tonight, but it is considerably less than what the western Northern Alps may receive. The snowfall is dominated by a northwest current, which puts the regions between Haute-Savoie and Vorarlberg in the line of fire. This is also clearly visible in the expected amounts of snow on our forecast map up to and including Friday evening. One meter of snow is possible on a large scale. The real stau areas like Engelberg will be buried under this dump with up to 150 centimeters of snow.
Austria will still be in the cold air all the time, so snow will fall into almost all valleys here. Only in the Rhine valley can it change briefly into wet snow or even rain. In the course of the afternoon and evening, the areas further west will have to deal with the supply of slightly warmer air, causing the snow line to rise to about 1200 meters (and possibly slightly higher locally). If the wind in the valleys remains limited, the precipitation cooling can still ensure that it continues to snow into the valleys.
The Southern Alps are sheltered by the northwestern current and won't have to expect any precipitation. Only the areas close to the main alpine ridge can get some of the snowfall. In the rest of the Southern Alps it remains mostly sunny due to the persistent Nordföhn.
The Northern Alps still have a chance of snow after Friday. In the night to Saturday, the east of Austria will have to deal with some snow as a result of a weak north Stau, but this will not really result in a lot of snow. In the night from Saturday to Sunday, a new low pressure area with snow for the Northern Alps follows from the northwest. Until Monday, 20 centimeters of snow can fall in the entire Northern Alps. The days after that also seem to be consistently changeable for the time being and there is also some snow for the Southern Alps possible.
Winter is here, but it's still not sure what this season will look like. It's always time to start dreaming and preparing. Whatever it will look like, the wePowder Guide is available again. We've extended the pre-order price of € 45.00 (excl. shipping) for a while. This thick book of 400+ pages is in stock and will be delivered to you as soon as possible! Thanks for your support!