Overview for snow

Lots of fresh snow for the northern Alps

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.

Written by skiweather on Wednesday April 19, 2017
Permalink - Category: skiweather - Tags: northern, alps, snow, spring

A late blast of snow for the eastern Alps

Huge amounts of snow over the Alps and WNW Balkan peninsula through next week, locally 50-100 cm could result from the latest model runs. Yet to be confirmed what the exact precipitation amounts will be, but the significant cold outbreak after Monday is confirmed. Much of Austria is going to see considerable snowfall this week in quantities that have been rare through much of the season so far.

The jet stream will turn to the northwest Saturday and cold polar air will come in and arrive in the northern Alps in the course of Saturday afternoon. The snow line will plummet from around 2200m on Saturday morning to around 1500 meters by late Sunday afternoon. The snow line will reside around 1200 meters in the Swiss and Austrian Alps on Monday. The wintry conditions will last for the better part of next week.

Written by skiweather on Saturday April 15, 2017
Permalink - Category: skiweather - Tags: eastern, alps, snow

Colder weather and snow for the Swiss and Austria Alps

The weather in the Alps has been spring-like this week: very mild and with plenty of sunshine. It was a glorious week with deep-blue skies. The nights were quite cold due to the absence of a substantial cloud cover. With freeze-thaw conditions the snow quality is very mixed and poor on the lower slopes. The lower valleys are turning green again after the high temperatures of the past one-and-a-half week. However, the spring conditions won't last very long. A big weather change is heading to the Alps this weekend as warm spring sunshine gives way to rather turbulent conditions with significant precipitation expected.

Written by skiweather on Friday March 17, 2017
Permalink - Category: skiweather - Tags: swiss, austrian, snow

Widespread snow fall has arrived in the Alps

The weather in the Alps has been characterised by lot's of sunshine and unseasonably mild temperatures this week. Skiers have been enjoying spring-like skiing ahead of schedule. On Thursday afternoon temperatures in the Zillertal even hit 20 degrees Celcius.

Today, it will turn noticeably colder. The freezing level will descend rapidly from over 2000m down to below 1000m. More importantly, widespread snowfall is expected, and some of the higher resorts in the western part of the northern Alps could see 20-30cm by Friday evening. On the southern flank of the Alps it will become increasingly sunny as a result of northerly foehn wind.

Written by skiweather on Thursday February 23, 2017
Permalink - Category: skiweather - Tags: snow, northern, alps

Doom and gloom for low-altitude ski resorts

Snow in Europe's low-altitude ski resorts will become a rare event according to recent research. Bare Alpine slopes could be a much more common sight in the future. The poor snow cover below 1500m of snow-scarce winters, like we have seen the last few years, can be expected to be the norm rather than the exception.

Towards the middle of the century there will only be a few days with snow at low elevations and winter sports could potentially be forced to begin up to a month later than they do today. Moreover the snow duration at 2000 m decreases by 2 weeks in 2035 and by 11 weeks in 2085. The most affected elevation zone for climate change is located below 1200 meters where the simulations show almost no continuous snow cover towards the end of the century.

Climate change forms a substantial threat to the ski holiday industry in 56%* of the ski villages in the Alps by 2035. Allready a third* of the current ski resorts is struggling with low snow reliabillity. Worst case scenario means that only 15%* of today's ski resorts are economically viable for skiing towards the end of the century according to

Written by skiweather on Saturday February 18, 2017
Permalink - Tags: snow, sure, reliability, research, depth - Category: research

Still more snow to come

The winter has finally returned in the western Alps since last weekend. After a first disruption which began Thursday night, a second front arrived Saturday and dropped a thick layer of -much needed- fresh snow. Below 1500m or so there has also been some rain and sleet at times, but snow did eventually reach much lower levels later on Sunday. In spite of the wind that has complicated the situation, one sees some nice snow accumulations in certain parts of the western Alps. The heaviest falls have been in the the French southern Alps, the (south)western Swiss Alps and some central and western parts of the Italian Alps. The snow has settled at low altitudes too: there’s snow down to village level in The Portes du Soleil and the Dolomites again. Higher up, the off-piste avalanche risk is generally 3/5, down from a very dangerous (4/5) yesterday, but still significant.

Written by skiweather on Monday February 6, 2017
Permalink - Category: snowreport - Tags: western, alps, snow, dolomites

Cooler weather ahead for the Alps at the start of 2017

The Alps have been under the influence of a mild and slack air mass. Without some proper cold air in the mix to shake it all up there'll be no useful snowfall. Without a decent temperature gradient, weather simply won't happen. This is the -boring- picture of a classic anticyclone we have to live with well beyond New Year's day.

Once again, It has been another poor December for the Alps. The fourth in a row. Not only the temperature trend was similar to that of the previous year, but also the precipitation pattern shows some parallels to December 2015. On a brighter note, it was the second sunniest December on record.

snow draught

A high pressure has nesttled itself in the heart of Europe for several weeks. On it's western flank very mild air has been spreading from the south across Iberia and western France. On it's eastern flank, cold northerly winds have brought sub-zero temperatures and some snow to Ukraine and Poland. In between, the high pressure has stifled the efforts of any weather system to bring significant snowfall. The air within an anticyclone is descending, which means that it is becoming warmer and drier

Clear skies and excellent snow in Obertauern

In the meantime, most of the Alps enjoyed abundant and prolongued sunshine and therefore there is a desperately shortage of natural snow. One exception is the eastern Austrian Alps where 15-35cm of fresh snow fell on the upper slopes earlier in the week. Ski resorts like Reiteralm, Schladming, Haus im Ennstal, Obertauern, Wagrain and Flachau were very lucky with a fresh snow cover. However, some low-altitude ski resorts in Salzburgerland and eastern Tirol got their Christmas party spoiled by sleet and drizzle.

Written by skiweather on Saturday December 31, 2016
Permalink - Categories: skiweather, snowreport - Tags: northern, alps, green, 2017, artificial, snow, colder

Lots of snow anticipated in some south-western parts of the Alps

There have been some important developments in the weather in the Alps the last 24 hours. On Sunday a weak cold front brought a little light snow to some north-eastern parts of the Alps, mainly the eastern Austria. Since this morning the weather situation has changed more dramatically. At the moment an area of low pressure is developing rapidly above the Mediterranean, while at the same time a high-pressure system is residing over eastern Europe is. A current from the east-southeast will fire up between the two systems. This front, which is hanging around in the Po-Valley right now, will be pushed against the Alps by the end of Monday morning and that part of the Alps will get severely hit.

Written by skiweather on Sunday December 18, 2016
Permalink - Category: snowreport - Tags: southern, alps, snow, genua, italian, piedmont

First snow dump of the winter season is a fact

The first big snow storm of the winter is in full swing with snow fall across the entire Alps, the Pyrenees and Scandinavia. On Saturday the heaviest snow was in Scandinavia and the western Alps, mainly in the border region of France and Italy but on Sunday the focus will move further east.

The rain/snow limit was initially at around 2000m in the southern French Alps, and a little bit lower lower in western Italy. In the late afternoon the limit descended towards 1400m. The eastern half of the Alps -especially Austria- escaped the worst of the storm, at least until late Saturday night. It snowed to much lower levels in the western Italian Alps and some parts of the southern French Alps, as low as 1000m, for example, in Courmayeur and in Sestriere and the rest of the Milky Way.

Written by skiweather on Sunday November 6, 2016
Permalink - Category: snowreport - Tags: snow, dump, alps

The snowiest skiresort in the Alps

When it comes to skiing, one thing you really do need over anything else, is snow. You don’t necessarily need a massive amount of it, but there's nothing quite as bad as having a ski holiday with insufficient or poor quality snow!

What can guarantee good snowconditions? Weather is unpredicatable at best, especially the last few decades... The impact of climate change is not something many ski resorts want to talk about. There is no question, however, that the c-factor is a force to be reckoned with. Several small low-lying Swiss and French resorts have already become unviable, and for others it is just a matter of time.

Snow sure skiresorts are all about altitude, the higher the resort the better the chance of good snow. Still, there are huge differences between skiresorts when it comes to snowdepth and snow quality. Most resorts claim to be snow sure but quite often this is simply a marketing ploy. Some hide an over-reliance on artificial snow-making.

Written by skiweather on Wednesday September 7, 2016
Permalink - Tags: snow, sure - Category: research