The Alps are really experiencing typical March weather. After last week's snowfall, temperatures rose to as high as 20 degrees within a few days. The sunny spring weather will be briefly interrupted from tonight by a passing cold front, but from Sunday the air pressure will increase again and it will get even warmer. Long lasting spring weather is not shown in the weather charts at the moment, because towards the Easter weekend a winter surprise seems possible again, with in any case cooler air coming in.
Today it remains sunny throughout the Alps in the morning. After a chilly night, the temperatures rise rapidly again and it can get up to 20 degrees warm on the north and south sides. Over the course of the afternoon, high clouds will appear from the west. This is the first sign of an approaching cold front that will bring some precipitation, but it will still be warm in the Western Alps with temperatures up to 18 degrees.
In the late evening the cold front will reach the Western Alps and it will start snowing above 1500 meters. Precipitation will be short but powerful, especially in the French Northern Alps and Western Switzerland, with up to 25 centimeters of snow possible. The cooler air that enters with the cold front ensures that the snowline will eventually drop to just below 1000 meters. Up to the Arlberg, some 5 to 10 centimeters of snow may fall. Everything east of that will have to make do with a cosmetic layer over the course of tomorrow. Here too, the snow line drops from around 1500 meters to a final height of around 1000 meters. With a slightly stronger wind, it will be quite a bit colder higher up than today.
Some snow may also fall on the southern side as a result of this front. Ticino in particular seems to have a good chance of some 10 centimeters of snow above 1500 meters, but also in the rest of the Southern Alps an occasional snow shower above this altitude cannot be ruled out. By the evening, it could continue snowing for a while, especially in the Southeastern Alps, with for example 5 to possibly 10 centimeters of snow in the Julian Alps.
While Sunday starts off sunny in the western Alps, the Eastern Alps are still dealing with some residual clouds. In the southeastern Alps in particular, it may still snow lightly above 1000 meters in the morning hours. In the course of the day, all parts of the Alps are in a southwestern flow that transports very mild air to the Alps. Temperatures of 18 degrees in the valleys of the Western Alps and 15 degrees in the Eastern Alps are again possible. On Monday and Tuesday, temperatures will rise to well over 20 degrees. Locally, temperatures of 22 to 24 degrees are possible!
Despite avalanche danger 2 above 2000 meters, many avalanches have come down in the Northern Alps during the past few days. This avalanche situation should not be underestimated. With the high temperatures ahead, good day planning is essential. Slopes that are still doable in the early morning can be dangerous just a few hours later. For those who are on the road in the Alps, it is therefore good to keep a close eye on the avalanche reports.
It is fairly certain that it will get colder towards the Easter weekend, but the uncertainty about the extent of the cooling is still very large. The ensembles also show more precipitation signals, so higher up in the sky some fresh snow could fall during this changeable phase. The European model even hints at a dump for the Southern Alps, but since it's still way too far away, there's not much to say here. In the last two runs the area with the strongest forecasted snowfall has shifted from Piedmont to the Dolomites. In any case, we'll keep an eye on it, because these are exciting developments!
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