On Wednesday most parts of the Alps got some fresh snow. The northwestern part got around 10 to 25 centimeters and also large parts of the Italian Alps to the east of Milan received 10 to 30 centimeters of fresh snow. The Austrian Alps didn’t get much more than 10 centimeters of fresh snow, but for some regions it was just enough to cover the old tracks, like on the picture below in Fendels. However, caution is still advised, since we are dealing with a widespread old layer problem and on top of that some fresh snowdrifts higher up. Not only in Austria, but also in large parts of Switzerland and France.
Today, a large part of the Alps is under the influence of a high pressure system above Scandinavia and will get lots of sunshine. For the French Alps we can expect again some snow due to a westerly flow.
During the afternoon this precipitation will intensify and I expect another 10 to 20 centimeters for most parts of the French Alps. In the Ecrins maybe even up to 30 centimeters. Since the westerly flow is relatively mild, the snow line is around 1500 meters this afternoon, but end up around 1200 meters in the evening.
The low pressure system which causes this snowfall in France will move southeastward towards the Mediterranean Sea and give quite some snowfall to the mountainous regions of Greece and heavy Bora winds in the Balkan during this weekend.
Tomorrow it will clear up in most parts of the Western Alps and we will get a wonderful cold winter day. Only the region of Piedmont has to deal with some more clouds during the day. It might snow a little bit, but this won’t be much at all. The rest of the Alps will be dominated by lots of sunshine due to the influence of a high pressure system directly to the north of the Alps. Especially the Eastern Alps will deal with arctic conditions until Sunday. Night temperatures can easily drop below -20 degrees in many valleys and day temperatures are widespread well below 0 degrees.
On Sunday evening, incoming clouds from the west indicate a changing weather situation. From Monday on, a southwesterly flow will make an end to the cold spell and bring milder air towards the Alps. On Monday, there is some precipitation involved with this southwesterly flow and the passage of a warmfront, but it is not likely to exceed the amount of 10 centimeters of snow for the Northwestern and Northern Alps. The initial snow line will be low, but with the milder air that is advected these levels will rise to about 1500 meters or even a bit higher. Since lots of valley will develop a strong cold pool with the cold spell this weekend, it could take a while before this pool is mixed with the warmer upper air. It can cause a lower snow level than expected, but also freezing rain should be considered.
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