A storm called Evi is on the way to the Alps and will bring a substantial amount of fresh snow in the next couple of days. The Northern Alps will be in the front line. The calm and sunny weather of the last few days is not likely to return soon.
Several days of snow are in the forecast, starting Monday evening in the French Alps and Italy’s Aosta Valley before spreading across the border into Switzerland and Austria. Expect the snowline to briefly rise as the storms come in on Tuesday and Thursday (to around 1500m in the west and 900m in the east). Friday will be colder with possibly continuous snowfall. To begin with, it’ll be raining at village level in many low-altitude resorts, but the freezing point should drop on Wednesday. Throughout the remainder of this week a sequence of cold and warm fronts should produce an unsavoury combination of yoyo-ing temperatures and 100kph winds, accompanied by heavy snow at altitude and rain lower down.
Above approximately 1000m, persistent snowfall is anticipated. On the northern flank of the Alps and in the Wallis and northern Graubunden region 50 to 80 cm of fresh snow is anticipated by Wednesday evening. Parts of Savoie, Haute Savoie -from the Chartreuse to Mont Blanc- and lower Wallis look like they could receive over a meter between the start of the snow fall on Tuesday and Thursday morning. Vorarlberg may welcome 20 to 80cm and even 1m in the Arlberg region. Only in the furthermost southern part of the Alps it will stay mainly dry.
The western Alps will experience gale force wind gusts at times. The strength of the winds in exposed areas is likely to lead to lift closures midweek. Heavy snowfall and wind will push up the avalanche risk significantly. Anticipate level 4 in places and I would not be surprised to see level 5 in higher resorts if the forecast plays out.