Currently, calm high-pressure weather with lots of sunshine dominates in the Alps. The freezing level reaches well above 3000 metres. At Les Diablerets in Switzerland, it is +4.6 degrees at 2966 metres at the time of writing (10:40am). Last weekend, the dew point temperatures were still very low due to the dry air, but these will also rise a bit in the coming days, which will affect the snow cover a bit more at lower altitudes.
Some firn turns are already possible on the southern slopes. For powder, you have to look higher up the north slopes, as seen above last weekend in Weißsee Gletscherwelt at around 2,700 metres. Below 1800 metres, the snow is hard as concrete in most regions, but there are still some possibilities above that.
The high-pressure area over southern Europe continues to dominate the weather in the Alps this week, but every now and then this high-pressure influence weakens a little, so it is not going to stay completely dry. We see this happening above on Thursday, when a strong low pressure area over Scandinavia temporarily turns the wind to the northwest for the Alps. With some colder air, a precipitation area approaches the Northern Alps.
In our forecast, however, we immediately see that these are not large amounts. It will stick to a small freshening of 5 to 15 centimetres in the Austrian Northern Alps and eastern Switzerland. The snowline drops to just below 1,500 metres. Further east in Austria around Salzburgerland in the evening also dropping to 1,000 metres.
We will have to wait a long time for a big snow dump, because even in the mid to longterm forecasts, the chances of a dump are not great yet. Only end of next week we do see some more precipitation signals in the ensembles, but these are at the moment anything but convincing. However, we do see that early next week the jet stream over Europe increases in strength and gets closer to the Alps, which adds to the uncertainty. For now, the Alps remain on the warm side. In such a situation (with westföhn), it can even get very mild in the valleys on the northern side, but it also means that precipitation is no longer so far away compared to a steady high-pressure area above the Alps. More on these developments to follow later this week.
A lot of precipitation in Norway
So almost no fresh snow for the Alps, but where it will snow heavily is in Norway. The northerly jet stream is aimed at Norway’s west coast for several days from Wednesday and fires hefty depressions at Scandinavia. As is often the case, it will be accompanied by quite a fluctuating snowline. Particularly on Friday, a portion of moist and warm air will be brought in, causing rain up to well above 1000 metres in the Vestland region, among others. From Saturday onwards, it gets colder quickly. The calculated precipitation amounts above are substantial.
Seems like we can expect a transition to more changeable weather late next week! New update to follow tomorrow evening (if the internet connection on the train is good enough…)
Thanks Henri …
Very useful , we are planning on going Puy Saint Vincent on the 10th Jan for a week with the kids . Seriously thinking of cancelling and staying in Switzerland doing some days out … what do you think it doesn’t look great rain up high … I went last weekend here and it was concrete ice … cheers alex