Warm period is coming to an end

By Henri on 1 March 2021 · 0

A great start of the day from the Gemsstock in Andermatt (roundshot.com)
A great start of the day from the Gemsstock in Andermatt (roundshot.com)

A new month and thus new chances for the return of winter. Basically, little has changed in the weather pattern since Friday's last forecast. Just like the last week of February, the Alps will continue to have a dry and mild weather pattern in the coming days. It is only towards the end of the week that progress is made and the Alps seem to be entering a more volatile phase.

Snow in Austria and the Piedmont

Austria and the Piedmont have seen some snow last weekend, but as expected there were no significant amounts that came down. On the north side of the Austrian Alps, about 5 to 10 centimeters of snow fell in the night from Friday to Saturday, as can be seen in the webcam image of Loser Altaussee above. In the Piedmont it was just a cosmetic layer on Saturday night. After the snowfall the sun came out quickly and most of it melted again due to the bright sun.

Dominant high-pressure area over Central Europe (wetter3.de, DWD)
Dominant high-pressure area over Central Europe (wetter3.de, DWD)

Warm and dry

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Yesterday was another sunny day in most places and the Alps will continue to deal with a stable high-pressure area in the coming days. With a core above Central Europe, a lot of warm air is supplied again. It's just not getting as warm as it was last week. Then we had to deal with a Föhn caused by high pressure that increased the temperatures on the north side of the Alps even more. Despite this, it will be very mild again this week in both the Northern and Southern Alps and we have to take temperatures of 15 to possibly even 18 degrees in the valleys into account. With values roughly between 2000 and 2500 meters, the freezing level is no longer as high as last week. Nevertheless, these mild temperatures in combination with the solar radiation create an avalanche risk that should not be underestimated.

Finally snowfall ahead
Finally snowfall ahead

Weather change on the way

The end of the prolonged mild period is in sight, as we will have to deal with a change of weather in the course of Thursday. Significantly colder air is transported to the Alps. Before this cold air will reach the Alps, it can become quite mild one more time during the day with temperatures up to 15 degrees. In the course of the evening the precipitation will come in from the northwest and it can start to snow above 800 to 1000 meters. For the time being it seems that we can expect about 10 to 20 centimeters of snow.

I end this forecast with the GFS Ensemble of Geneva. This clearly shows that the general trend is returning to normal temperatures for the time of the year and that at the same time the precipitation signals are increasing considerably. In the next weather forecast on Wednesday, I will come back to all the details of this upcoming weather change.

GFS Ensemble Genève (wetterzentrale.de)
GFS Ensemble Genève (wetterzentrale.de)

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