Alps: Will it snow before the holiday starts?

Alps: Will it snow before the holiday starts?

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It's the middle of winter, but the only records being broken at the moment are temperature records. This as the “traditional ski holiday” begins for many people next week. The question that will concern many people at this moment is; Will there be more snow? The answer to that is yes, but it is not yet certain whether there will be a good amount of snow everywhere.

This is the scene in many places in the Alps at the moment. Not a great sight a week before spring break. Fortunately, change is coming, but is it enough? Image via Johan Weather (Alps) in X. Valais, Switzerland.

Some snow in France and Switzerland on Wednesday

It will not escape anyone's attention, as it is very mild in the Alps. This moderate weather is due to high pressure in the Frank area. Its core is located above mainland Europe, and it originally pumped tropical air from the south towards western Europe. Many heat records have been broken, and there are even places in the Italian Alps that have reached temperatures of over 20 degrees. It is dry and sunny.

The high-pressure area Frank is pumping tropical air from the south. Illustration of Johan's weather (Alps) via X.

We haven't lost this soft air coming from Africa for a while. The average temperature today in the Alps is about 8-9 degrees at an altitude of 1500 metres. Tomorrow we will also reach high temperatures averaging 7-8 degrees. It's dry and the sun will shine, especially today. There is a great deal of wind from the west.

On Wednesday, a front approaches from the northwest, then the high pressure area begins to slowly lose its influence. This will cause some precipitation, especially in the French and Swiss Alps, from the evening and night until Thursday. The snowfall limit ranges between 1,400-1,500 metres, and amounts are limited to a maximum of 10 centimetres. Unfortunately, there will be many places where it will rain. See weather maps below:

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From Friday south

It will be even more exciting again from Friday. From Thursday we see the weather in the Alps increasingly under the influence of a low pressure area moving towards France. We will then see the development of a low pressure area over the Gulf of Genoa over the weekend. This means a dryer will develop on the north side of the Alps from Thursday and possibly continue into the weekend.

At the same time, humid air from the south (from the Mediterranean) begins to push towards the southern side of the Alps. This is Sudstaw It is expected to continue throughout the weekend with large amounts of rain expected. Regarding quantities, there is still a lot of uncertainty at the moment. Although it seems that more than a meter of snow could certainly fall on the southern side of the Alps at higher altitudes!

Expected amount of rain (mm) until Monday evening according to the European model. Locally more than a meter of snow is possible in parts of Italy and Switzerland! This depends on how high the snowfall threshold is in practice. Source: WX Charts.com

The cold air that will then flow over the Alps will have a hard time, causing the snowfall line to be very high for some time, around 1,500 to 1,200 metres. However, if heavy rainfall continues, the snowfall limit in the protected valleys will be much lower and the snow may extend into the valley. In neighboring inland Alpine regions such as Valais, snow initially falls from 2,000 to 1,800 metres.

It drops to 1500 meters over the weekend to 1000 meters on Sunday. Dry and smooth with a hair dryer for longer on the north side of the Alps. For example, the temperature could reach more than 15 degrees in the valleys in Austria this weekend. On Sunday and Monday, the level of the two craters will decrease from west to east and cold air may spread further over the Alps. Then the snowfall limit drops to an altitude of 800 metres. However, Rainfall and Staw disappear again.

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The northern side of the Alps

What about the North Side, I hear you thinking? That's all for now. As the European model rainfall map above shows, not much falls on the northern side. Plus, the high temperatures expected this weekend due to the hairdryer will only make things worse there. Starting Monday, convincingly cold air will enter and then only a small amount of snow will fall until Tuesday, according to weather maps now. However, this is next week, so it can still be manipulated.

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The cold air will move south next Monday. Source: EC/WX Charts.com

Another update tomorrow! More winter sports news and tips? Check that too Snowrepublic.nl And join Winter sports photo contest!


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