What a beautiful day today! Meanwhile, in many places in the Alps it has cleared up. Especially on the northern side, the fresh snow in combination with the sun has created dream conditions. The snowfall was also accompanied by quite some wind, so the avalanche danger is pretty critical at the moment! In the coming days, the Northwest Alps will get a lot of snow again.
As described, the snow fell mainly in the Northwest and Southeast Alps. Yesterday's snow also fell with quite a bit of wind, so the avalanche risk should not be underestimated. A total of 30 to 50 centimetres of snow fell in the north-western Alps. The freshly fallen snow in combination with today's sunshine resulted in beautiful webcam images.
During the weekend we do not have to expect as much sun as we have today. The high clouds that are now entering the Western Alps are marking the approach of a new warm front that will bring precipitation from the west from tonight onwards. The most snowfall will again be for the French Northern Alps and Switzerland. 30 to 60 centimetres are again possible in the stau areas from the Ecrins to Arlberg. Locally, the French Northern Alps might even get a bit more. As always with such westerlies, Austria (with the exception of Vorarlberg) will have to deal with a lot less, about 10 to 30 centimetres maximum until Sunday. With the westerly flow, the wind will also pick up tomorrow, which means we can expect a lot of snow drifts and avalanche risk with this snowfall as well.
What will the snowline do? Tonight, the snowline will rise a bit as the warm front passes. Tomorrow morning, it may snow temporarily above 1200 to 1500 metres. Soon, however, colder air will flow in again from the northwest, causing the snowline to rapidly drop to well below 1000 metres. In the night from Saturday to Sunday, it might start snowing in the valleys.
On Sunday, the low-pressure area lies directly over the Alps, which makes the distribution and amount of precipitation again a bit difficult to estimate. The French Northern Alps will have to deal with snowfall for a long time and the Southeastern Alps may also get snow for a longer time due to a south/southwestern flow. In between, there will be more space for clear skies and some sunshine, but also the northern areas will still have to deal with snow showers on Sunday.
On Wednesday, I mentioned the snowfall in the Pyrenees again. The good conditions as above in Baquiera-Beret (Spain) will only get better in the upcoming days because of the supply of a large portion of moist air from the northwest. Today, the snowline is still a bit of a problem (locally around 2000 metres), but this weekend, together with the moist air, a good portion of coldness will be brought along. Areas like Baqueira will receive about half a metre of snow until Monday. Further to the west, the amounts will increase and another metre of snow might just fall. Think of a few French gems like Gourette, Cauterets, Luz Ardiden and Tourmalet, but also just across the border in Spain, the Aragonese areas like Formigal, Candanchú and Astún can get a meter of snow.
While there are still some remnants of snow showers to be found on Monday, especially in Austria, a front will follow from the northwest during the afternoon day. This snowfall will not bring more than 5 to 10 centimetres. Directly after that, a strong depression approaches from the west, which will bring snow during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. The snowline will probably be a bit higher at first, but it will drop during the precipitation. Again, 20 to 40 centimetres seems possible for the Western Alps, but the Southern Alps seem to get some this time as well. Looking a little further ahead, we may see a more south-westerly flow pattern in the long term by mid-December, with a warming trend according to the weather models.