Snow for the highest peaks


By Henri on 20 October 2022 · 9

So far there is very little snow on the Grand Motte in Tignes (roundshot.com)
So far there is very little snow on the Grand Motte in Tignes (roundshot.com)

It has been dry and warm in the Alps for a while now. For Austria, October 2022 is likely to finish in the top-3 warmest October months, with a possibility of even becoming the warmest October ever recorded (more info here). Large-scale significant snowfall with a low snowline is unfortunately not shown on the weather charts at the moment, but due to an approaching low-pressure area, the higher-lying parts of the Western Alps will get quite a bit of precipitation in the coming days. The southwesterly flow will keep it warm, so in the areas below 3000 metres most of it will fall as rain.

A strong low pressure area to the west of Europe is creating a southwesterly flow (wetter3.de, DWD)
A strong low pressure area to the west of Europe is creating a southwesterly flow (wetter3.de, DWD)

Southwesterly flow

Due to a strong low pressure area west of Europe, the Alps will face a strong southwesterly flow. In the Western Alps, this flow will result in precipitation for the next few days. Most models calculate the largest amounts for the French Northern Alps. Ticino and the surrounding regions could also pick up (quite a bit of) precipitation due to the southwesterly flow, but even here it is too warm for snow. While the GFS and ECMWF still keep precipitation amounts somewhat limited, higher-resolution models in these regions show substantial precipitation amounts of up to 100 mm or more locally up to and including the weekend. With a snowline that could temporarily drop below 3000 metres from Friday afternoon to Saturday morning (slightly further east to 2500 metres), snowfall remains limited to the very highest regions.

Supply of warm air by southwest flow (wxcharts.com)
Supply of warm air by southwest flow (wxcharts.com)
Precipitation amounts through Saturday night according to ECMWF (wxcharts.com)
Precipitation amounts through Saturday night according to ECMWF (wxcharts.com)

Föhn on the north side

Over the next few days, two föhn phases will follow in the northern Alps with the south-westerly high-altitude flow during which it could become very mild in the valleys as well as higher up. Today and tomorrow the first föhn phase will follow with a freezing level that will reach above 3500 metres. In the course of Sunday, the second föhn phase will follow with temperatures of up to 18 degrees at 1500 metres and a freezing level again well above 3000 metres.

Saturday some precipitation everywhere

Before another föhn situation develops in the Northern Alps on Sunday, precipitation from the Western Alps will continue to spread eastwards across the Alps on Saturday. Temperatures are slightly lower in Austria in particular, giving the glaciers there a small refresher up to around 2500 metres, but with around 10 to 15 centimetres, the amounts are likely to remain limited.

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Comments


  • Chester_Tartsnatcher
    Expert
    Chester_Tartsnatcher op 20 October 2022 · 22:41
    There's a big shift in the jetstream for North America this weekend, so hopefully that will spin off a change in the high pressure and warmth in the Alps in the weeks following.
    Think snow.
    #flakenews
    #eurobbi2023 March 26-April 1 2023 Rueras, CH.
    *message edited by Chester_Tartsnatcher op 20 Oct 2022 22:49
  • juancarlosdominguezlemoine
    Beginner
    juancarlosdominguezlemoine op 25 October 2022 · 04:00
    Hot as usual.
  • ari
    Beginner
    ari op 25 October 2022 · 19:27
    These winter seasons are starting to look more and more like mid-late autumn, and this mid-late autumn is starting to look like what summers in the Alps used to be. This is beyond concerning, this is a cause of panic, and yet here we sit, perusing wepowder praying in vain to snow gods we long ago have insulted (and continue to insult) with our coal, oil, cows, and deforestation.
  • juancarlosdominguezlemoine
    Beginner
    juancarlosdominguezlemoine op 26 October 2022 · 06:55
    Well it's looking that my skis will stay inside and my mountain bike outside. Normal winter in Europe.
  • Chester_Tartsnatcher
    Expert
    Chester_Tartsnatcher op 26 October 2022 · 17:12
    Looks like the big low in the Atlantic is moving East:



    Maybe the cold it's bringing from the North will have an effect in about 10 days?
    *message edited by Chester_Tartsnatcher op 26 Oct 2022 17:13 (24% bewerkt)
  • Henri
    Beginner
    Henri op 27 October 2022 · 10:16
    @Chester_Tartsnatcher the jet stream will be more zonal next week, so lows will have higher chances to reach the Alps. Snow chances for mid next week are increasing, but it's still uncertain which regions will benefit the most. Tomorrow more info in a new weather forecast!

  • Chester_Tartsnatcher
    Expert
    Chester_Tartsnatcher op 27 October 2022 · 17:16
    @Henri, what do you mean by "the jet stream will be more zonal"? Isn't it always in some zone?

    There's been a big shift in the jet stream across the Eastern Pacific starting last week, so I'm just hoping that this shift will result in a change for Yurp with more preciptiation and a more Northerly flow. The jet stream acts like a big whip.
    #EuroBBI2023
  • Henri
    Beginner
    Henri op 27 October 2022 · 20:50
    With zonal I mean a more west-east pattern, instead of the wavy pattern at the moment with a persistent ridge and a blocking high above Europe.
  • Chester_Tartsnatcher
    Expert
    Chester_Tartsnatcher op 27 October 2022 · 23:49
    @Henri Thanks!
    Latitudinall?

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