It's ON in the northern Alps

It's ON in the northern Alps

What a nice dump! The northwestern Alps got a massive amount of snowfall. It’s still snowing today in the northwestern Alps, so on top of the large amounts of snow we can expect another 20 centimeters locally. But for the lucky ones who are in the Alps: be extremely cautious, the avalanche situation is very tricky!

  • High avalanche risk!
  • Some snow for the northwestern Alps today
  • Tonight and tomorrow up to 15 centimeters for eastern Austria
  • Up to 30 centimeters from Saturday to Monday for the Northern Alps
  • Warmer (Südföhn) in the Northern Alps, chances of snow for the Southern Alps
Huge amounts of snow
Huge amounts of snow

Switzerland and Vorarlberg were in the line of fire during this northwestern stau. Massive amounts of snow of more than one and a half meter came down in the last few days. Several villages got cut off from the outside world because of the large amounts of snowfall and the rapidly increasing avalanche danger. The fact that a large part of these amounts of snow fell within just 24 hours makes this northweststau event special. Several measurement stations in the Central and Eastern Switzerland measured around 100 centimeters of fresh snow within 24 hours.

Lech (c) FB Lech-Zürs am Arlberg
Lech © FB Lech-Zürs am Arlberg

Further to the east, Tyrol got more than was expected in most of the weather models. The western part of Tyrol received on a large scale 1 meter of snow. Even in the city of Innsbruck at an altitude of 570 meters 30 to 40 centimeters was measured. It’s a snow event that happens only once in every 7 years for this location.

As expected the snowfall was quite wet in the lower regions in the west due to the incoming warm air on Wednesday evening. Some low locations up to 1200 meters got temporarily some rain, but yesterday it quickly changed to snow again.

High avi danger in CH...
High avi danger in CH…
...and in Tyrol
…and in Tyrol

^The forecasts on wePowder are powdered by our friends at Ortovox

The snowfall came hand in hand with strong winds higher up, which makes the avalanche risk very tricky at the moment. On top of the already existing persistent weak layer problem we have to deal with wind-drifted snow and the massive amounts of fresh snow. Natural spontaneous avalanches are expected and on a wide range in the Northern Alps we have a danger level 4! It is recommended to stay on the open slopes today, because on all elevations it’s too tricky.

Still snowing in Engelberg
Still snowing in Engelberg

Today it continues to snow in the northwestern Alps. It will be less strong, but still we can expect locally an additional 20 centimeters of snow in Switzerland. To the east of the Arlberg region it will clear up, but later today already new clouds are coming from the north which will bring some snowfall from this evening onwards for the part of Austria that didn’t receive that much in the last days. Until tomorrow afternoon the Salzburgerland, Styria and Upper-Austria regions can receive up to 15 centimeters of snow. During the snowfall it will be cold enough, so also the lowest valleys can receive some snow.

New snow from the west
New snow from the west

Saturday starts friendly and sunny in the western Alps, but during the course of the day new clouds are coming in from the west. A front is approaching and already tomorrow evening it starts to snow again. Some extra stau during Sunday will bring quite some amounts of snow again, with approximately 10 to even 30 centimeters snow possible for the Northern Alps. Again, Eastern Switzerland and Vorarlberg are likely to receive the most amounts of snow again.

Warmer from Tuesday?

From Tuesday on it is likely that the Alps will be influenced by the low pressure system above Great-Britain, bringing higher temperatures from the southwest. Only the Southern Alps are in a good position to get some snow. Due to the increasing pressure gradient the Northern Alps will experience a possibly strong Südföhn.

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qoomakproAuthor15 January 2021 · 20:21

yep, not that bad in Andermatt -

rich_a_potterAuthor16 January 2021 · 10:30

wow. stay safe out there if your lucky enough to be out there

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