A few more days of calm autumn weather, next week possibly some snow


By Henri on 25 October 2021 · 0

Nice autumn in the Alps! Like here in Zell am See (foto-webcam.eu)
Nice autumn in the Alps! Like here in Zell am See (foto-webcam.eu)

The Alps are currently in full autumn mode. A stable high-pressure area is responsible for the dry and sunny weather, and beautiful autumn colours can be found everywhere. This week, it will mostly be dry and rather mild as well. However, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, because next week it might get significantly colder and snowier. I have to say right away that it is still very far away to talk about details.

Autumn conditions at the Brenner Grenzkamm
Autumn conditions at the Brenner Grenzkamm

Dream weekends

Locals are very lucky with the good timing of the weather this October. The past three weekends have actually been consistently beautiful autumn weather with plenty of sunshine. It still has little to do with winter weather. Due to the relatively high temperatures, most people are not thinking about skiing yet, although some glacier ski areas are already open. There isn't a lot of snow yet; the föhn has done a lot of damage. Above 2000 metres, on the shady northern slopes, you'll notice that it's already the end of October and that we're slowly heading towards winter. As of next week, the snow chances also seem to increase a bit.

Today and tomorrow, the Alps are in between two high pressure systems (wetter3.de, DWD)
Today and tomorrow, the Alps are in between two high pressure systems (wetter3.de, DWD)
From Wednesday on more sunshine due to increasing pressure (wetter3.de, DWD)
From Wednesday on more sunshine due to increasing pressure (wetter3.de, DWD)

Dominant high-pressure area

We will have to be patient for a while, because this week little seems possible due to a rather dominant high-pressure area. Today and tomorrow, the Alps will have to deal with some more clouds due to the location between two high-pressure areas and the influence of a small trough, but until Friday it will remain fairly sunny and mild.

The anomaly maps of the temperature at 1500 metres show that the Alps are currently dealing with rather mild weather. The depression southwest of Iceland can't penetrate further to Central Europe, so it will be forced to stay around Iceland for a few days and the Alps will still remain in the high pressure influence. Later on in the week, this will also bring a lot of warm air masses to the Alps and the föhn will also be present.

Mild conditions in and around the Alps (wxcharts.com)
Mild conditions in and around the Alps (wxcharts.com)
Slowly approaching winter weather? (wetterzentrale.de)
Slowly approaching winter weather? (wetterzentrale.de)

On to winter next week?

So what about the possible winter arrival next week? GFS and ECMWF both forecast it at the moment, but it has to be said that it is still very long term. From the weekend onwards, the Western Alps might receive some snow in higher regions. The GFS-ensemble for Geneva above shows a nice downward trend with moreover a strong precipitation signal. After the weekend the Southern and Northern Alps might also get some snow. There's no point in discussing further details now, as it's simply too far away. It will not be the first time that a high-pressure belt over Central Europe has proved more persistent than previously expected.


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