In the middle of a meteorologically exciting phase, a large part of the Alps is experiencing a sunny interlude today. The past few days have seen a lot of snow and the next 6 days will also bring more if we take a look at our forecast map.
In this weather report:
A lot of snow has fallen in recent days. Yesterday's warmt front gave a lot of snow again in many places, about 20 to 30 centimetres. We can see from the map of whiterisk.ch that especially the stau areas on the north side received a lot of snow in the last 3 days. In the Glarus Alps it brought more than a metre of snow.
The passage of the warm front was also accompanied by a stormy (north-)westerly wind. With the large amounts of freshly fallen snow, an extensive Triebschnee problem has thus arisen. Yesterday in Central Switzerland, the avalanche risk was temporarily 4. By now, avalanche danger 3 is widely prevalent. The webcam on the Hochries above shows, among other things, that the wind has taken a heavy toll in the northern areas. This is one of the northernmost and in this weather situation also most exposed mountains of Bavaria. Further east, the weather station on the Feuerkogel in Lower Austria measured wind speeds of up to 147 kilometres per hour.
It's not just the northern regions that have had to contend with the wind. Even further south, the wind has been strong higher up. In addition, weak layers in the old snow cover can easily be triggered in the more inner-alpine areas, reports the LWD Tirol. Among others SLF and LWD Tirol provide a daily update since yesterday. Use them to your advantage and keep a close eye on these websites.
Today, the Alps are for a large part in the "slice of pie" between the warm and cold fronts, which is causing the clearing up and partly sunny conditions. The warm front and the weak föhn flow have caused temperatures to rise. However, the cold front is soon approaching from the west, which means that this sunny interlude will be short-lived.
How does it go from here? Again, it looks very rosy for the Northwest Alps, but also the Southeast Alps can receive a nice layer. First of all, during this afternoon, a cold front with again a lot of snow will approach from the west. The heaviest snowfall will probably be a bit more towards France because the flow is a bit more westerly instead of north-westerly. As a result, many areas in Austria will miss out a bit, although Arlberg, but also Loser - Altaussee for example, will benefit a bit more than the rest. The driving force will keep on snowing until Thursday evening. I expect 30 to locally 50 centimeters of snow in the Western Alps from Les Grandes Rousses (Alpe d'Huez) to the Arlberg. The Austrian areas, which are sheltered from this precipitation, will have 10 to 20 centimetres of snow at the most. The snowline will drop everywhere from about 1500 metres to 800 to 1000 metres, tomorrow afternoon possibly even into the lowest valleys. Increased influence of the Azorean high-pressure area will dampen the snowfall from the west more and more and Friday will therefore be dry in the Alps.
In contrast to Tirol, for example, the Austrian regions in the Southern Alps can expect a bit more. The south-eastern Alps will also have to cope with a lot of snow tomorrow as a result of the development of a small low-pressure area over the Gulf of Genoa and a strong south-westerly upper wind. In particular, the regions close to the Slovenian border, such as the Karawanken, Carnic Alps and Julian Alps, may receive up to half a metre of snow. The rest of Carinthia, but also Obertauern for example, will benefit from 10 to 30 centimetres.
In the weekend there will be a repetition of moves. In the night from Friday to Saturday, a warm front will reach the Western Alps again, which will bring a lot of snow, but again with a rising snow line. This time there's hardly any time for clearances between the warm and cold front, because Saturday night cooler air will reach the northwestern Alps, causing the snow line to drop fast again. According to current calculations, the French Northern Alps and Switzerland in particular can once again look forward to half a metre of snow.
Not only the Alps will receive a lot of snow, also the Pyrenees might get huge amounts of fresh snow. Especially the western Pyrenees can expect a lot of fresh snow in the coming days. However, a rising snow line should be taken into account from time to time. The latter seems to be especially the case on Friday. The ECMWF model above shows 80 to possibly 100 mm precipitation in the western Pyrenees until Sunday. Other models are going crazy and show even much higher numbers of which most may fall on Saturday and Sunday and also quite some snow for the other parts of the Pyrenees. Let's wait and see how this potential snow bomb develops in the next two days.