Mild and unstable weather will affect low altitude ski resorts

It has warmed up substantially over the Alps compared to the past week. In just a few days the temperature rose a staggering 25 degrees. Some ski resorts are starting to experience spring like conditions, especially in the east of the Alps.The temperatures and freezing levels are moving up and down with each forecast published, but the general trend remains: cool and snow to Thursday, then warm and snow/rain for the end of the week. Large amounts of rain will come down below 1400 meters.

On Wednesday showers will become a little more widespread across the Alps. Heaviest in the the west, the northwest and the main alpine ridge in Austria where 10-30cm is possible. It will become temporarily colder with the rain/snow limit falling below 1000m in most areas. Later in the week the current will turn to the south and it will turn milder with rain showers to higher elevation. Thursday you can expect some snowfall in the southwest in the late afternoon.

The changeable weather is going up in a higher gear from Friday. Then a significant amount of warm air flows into the Alps, the freezing levels rises to around 3000 meters. A lot of moisture is pressed against the southern Alps with a southwestern current. This causes snow and rain in the southern Alps and föhn on the northern side of the main alpine ridge. Substantial larger quantities are calculated from Saturday, especially in the French and Italian Alps. Saturday may bring widespread rain, before a drop in temperature on Sunday which could bring heavy snow on higher elevation. The snow line will be around 1700-1800 meters, but can drop down to 1300 meters in case of intense precipitation. Dry snow only falls above 2000 meters. With a higher snow line it could sometimes become wet in many lower ski areas. Large amounts of rain will come down below 1400 meters. In Austria it will remain dry at first under the influence of fohn. In the course of Sunday rain will also fall over here. On Sunday it might very well be possible to hit the 20 degrees in the Rheintal under the influence of föhn. 

It appears that the beginning of next week is getting a bit colder and the rain will move out after Monday, but it will remain quite unstable. At first a fairly large proportion of the precipitation consists of rain.

Snow conditions in the Alps remain very good for March even if sunshine is hard to find right now. For now at least it feels like the period of heavy snowfall is behind us, and as such some ski resorts in Austria are just starting to show slightly decreasing slope qualities. First and foremost, this is impacting the off piste-options at the moment, primarily due to an increasing period without fresh coverage. France and Switzerland are still experiencing great skiing conditions thanks to the worthwhile quantities of fresh snow of recent days.  

 Take particular care off-piste as the snow is unstable and there have been numerous incidents in recent days.

Written by skiweather on Monday March 5, 2018

Category: skiweather - Tag: spring

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