The snowfall limit descents even further on Wednesday. A lot of fresh snow comes down above 500 meters in the mountains of the alpine north side. The amount is on average 20 to 50 cm, locally even 70 centimeters of fresh snow. During the night there is an acute frost hazard. On Friday local temperatures around minus 10 degrees are possible.
In the night on Wednesday even colder air reaches the alpine area, the snowfall limit settles down into the lowlands. During daytime the snowfall is growing even further with a low over Eastern Europe. By the end of the Thursday, about 10 to 40cm is expected on the lower slopes, and even more than 50 centimeters in locations above 800 m.
The dramatic change in the weather comes courtesy of a mass of arctic air that flooded the Alps over the weekend, dropping the temperature by as much as 20°C in some places. It has also brought lot's of fresh snow, mainly to the northern and eastern part of the Alps where more than 50cm has already fallen in some areas (e.g. SkiArlberg). However, with more expected over the next couple of days, some parts of Austria could see storm totals of over 1m by Thursday.
It will keep on snowing on the north side of the main alpine ridge of the Alps till Wednesday. A cold front will bring more unstable air to the north side of the Alps and because the current is turning to the northeast, snowfall is guaranteed till Wednesday and in the east of the Alps even till Thursday morning. A new storm is getting ready to bring winter back to the Alps on Saturday as another weaker cold front moves down from the north. During this time many western and southern parts of the Alps will stay mostly fine, if rather chilly. However, it looks likely that another potent wintry blast will affect the Alps more widely around the middle of next week.
Ski resorts that have or will benefit from this significant late snowfall are mostly located in Austria, including Lech, Sankt Anton, Warth-Schrocken, Obergurgl, Obertauern, Ischgl, Kaprun and Hintertux. Resorts still open in the southern and western Alps -e.g. Val d’Isère, Val Thorens, Zermatt, Cervinia- have seen little or no snow, but have still benefited from the dramatic drop in temperature.
Written by skiweather on Wednesday April 19, 2017
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