Updated: 9.30am Thursday 21 May 2015 - Further significant snowfalls in the Alps
It’s unseasonably cold in the Alps right now, with significant new snow in many places. This is great news for the glaciers of course, with 50cm of fresh reported in Hintertux this morning and 40cm+ in Stubai, Kitzsteinhorn and Kaunertal. Further west, Engelberg also reports 40cm on its Titlis glacier, scheduled to close this weekend.
The snow hasn’t just been confined to the glaciers either, with a temporary dusting to below 1000m in some northern parts of the Alps. More snow is expected to relatively low altitudes today, heaviest in the central and eastern Alps.
In Austria - you can still ski in Hintertux (open 365 days a year), Kaunertal (closes 7 June) Kitzsteinhorn (closes 25 May) and Dachstein (no fixed closing date).
In Switzerland - Zermatt offers year round skiing but Engelberg and Diavolezza (near St Moritz) are scheduled to close on 25 May.
In Italy - Cervinia is open until the end of May, but only at weekends.
Skiing resumes in France on the Pissaillas glacier above Val d’Isère on 6 June.
Today in the Alps will be back in Autumn 2015,
but Snow News will continue to bring you regular updates over the summer...
Who got the most snow in 2013-14? - click here
Who got the most snow in 2013-14 in N. America? - click here
Updated: 9.20am Tuesday 19 May 2015 - Unsettled, further snow for the glaciers
The Alps are entering another unseasonably cool spell of weather, with snow to relatively low altitudes over the next few days, especially in Austria.
Although there aren’t any resorts open in France right now, this cooler weather is good news for Val d’Isère which will be the first resort to open (in France) for summer skiing on 6 June. A few cm of snow are expected here over the next few days, but nothing significant.
In Switzerland, you can ski most days in Zermatt (weather and lift maintenance permitting), on the Diavolezza glacier near St Moritz (until 25 May) and on the Titlis glacier above Engelberg (also until 25 May). Some fresh snow is expected over the next couple of days, generally light in the southern Swiss Alps (Zermatt), but heavier further north (Engelberg) where it may briefly settle to 1500m or lower.
In Italy you can still ski at altitude in Cervinia, though only at weekends until the end of May. Access to the glacier (shared with Zermatt) is then possible again from late June. Further east, the glacier at Passo Stelvio near Bormio opens on 30 May. Again, some snow is expected in Cervinia over the next few days though generally in modest quantities.
Austria offers the greatest number of skiing options at this time of year. Hintertux (open 365 days a year) is our pick right now, but you can also ski on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier near Kaprun (closes 25 May), the Dachstein glacier (no confirmed closing date as yet), the Kaunertal glacier (closes 7 June) and the Stubai glacier (closes 3 July). Austria will see the lion’s share of snow over the next few days with 50cm+ possible in places. It may also (temporarily) settle to 1500m or lower.
Updated: 9.15am Friday 15 May 2015 - Heavy snow for parts of the Alps!
On Wednesday the temperature hit 20°C at 2000m in the Alps, but today it is snowing as low as 1200m in some parts!
The snow comes too late for the main ski season of course, but it will provide a welcome boost for the Alpine glaciers after the relatively modest snowfalls of the winter.
The heaviest snow will be in the western half of the Alps where 15-30cm will fall quite widely above 2000m, with 50cm+ in one or two favoured spots. An injection of unusually frigid air will also send the rain/snow level as low as 1200m across some northern parts of the Alps in the middle of the day, before rising again later. The wintry snap won’t last though, with freezing levels set to exceed 3000m again on Saturday.
Weather-permitting the following ski areas are open right now:
Switzerland – Zermatt, Engelberg, Diavolezza
Italy – Cervinia (weekends only)
Austria – Hintertux, Stubai, Kaunertal, Kitzsteinhorn, Dachstein
Updated: 12.35pm Sunday 10 May 2015 - The official end of the winter season
It’s a fabulous final day of the “winter” season in Tignes and Val Thorens, with deep blue skies and freezing levels at around 3300m.
Indeed it’s a fine day across most of the Alps, though there is some patchy cloud around in Austria.
Today also sees the closure of the Carosello 3000 area in Livigno, the last entirely non-glacial resort to be offering skiing this season.
From tomorrow, snow sports in the Alps will be confined to the glaciers – e.g. Hintertux and Stubai in Austria, Zermatt in Switzerland and Cervinia (weekends only) in Italy. After today France will not have any skiing on offer until 6 June, when Val d’Isère reopens its Pisaillas glacier for its short summer season.
This is also our final “Today in the Alps” of the season, but we will be bringing you regular updates in our “Snow News” section, including reports on the best places to ski throughout the summer months - so stay tuned...
Updated: 11.15am Friday 8 May 2015 - Showers and thunderstorms developing
After a mostly dry start to the day with plenty of sunshine, showers and thunderstorms will develop - first in the west then affecting many other parts of the Alps later in the day and into tonight.
The rain/snow limit will start around 2600m, lowering a little tonight which is good news for the handful of high altitude ski areas still open.
In France you can still ski in Val Thorens and Tignes (until Sunday 10 May only).
In Italy you can still ski in Livigno (until 10 May) with Cervinia open at weekends.
In Switzerland you can still ski in Zermatt, Engelberg and Diavolezza (near St Moritz).
As usual at this time of year Austria has the most options, the best of which are at Hintertux, Kaprun and Stubai.
Updated: 9.15am Thursday 7 May 2015 - Mostly fine
Most of the Alps are in for a fine day today, with plenty of sunshine and just a scattering of showers in the east – notably in the eastern Austrian Alps (snow 2300m).
Temperatures will be close to or even a little below normal for the time of year (with afternoon freezing levels between 2600m in the east and 3100m in the west) which means pretty good snow conditions in the few Alpine resorts (mostly glaciers) still open.
In France you can still ski in Val Thorens and Tignes, but only until this weekend (Sunday 10 May).
In Italy you can ski in Cervinia until the end of May, but only at weekends. The only other option right now is the Carosello 3000 area of Livigno open until 10 May.
In Switzerland you can still ski in Zermatt, in Engelberg and on the Diavolezza glacier near St Moritz.
Austria, as usual at this time of year, has the most options. Here you can still ski on the glaciers at Hintertux, Stubai, Pitztal (until 10 May), Kaunertal, Kitzsteinhorn (near Kaprun) and Mölltal (closes 10 May).
Updated: 12.40pm Wednesday 6 May 2015 - Mixed weather across the Alps
There has been further rain across the Alps in the last 24 hours, chiefly in the north. Today showers will continue in the eastern Alps, while further west it should become mostly dry with good sunny spells.
It will be cooler than yesterday (when temperatures in Innsbruck reached 30°C) with any showers in the eastern Alps falling as snow above 2400m.
This means that snow conditions in the few resorts that are still open should be better than of late with relatively “wintry” snow on the glaciers.
Updated: 8.50am Sunday 3 May 2015 - Remaining unsettled but very mild
The Alpine weather remains changeable but very mild with further rain at times, especially in the north. Any snowfall today will only be confined to the very highest slopes, mostly above 2800-3000m.
The warm but unsettled theme is set to continue over the next few days with some sunny interludes but also showers, especially in the north. Snow quality is therefore expected to be variable, even up on the glaciers.
Updated: 9.05am Saturday 2 May 2015 – Unsettled but mild
Yesterday’s torrential rain in the northern and western Alps continued for most of the night, leading to some serious flooding problems in places.
The worst affected areas were the northern French Alps (particularly the Haute-Savoie) and the extreme west of Switzerland where the rain, coupled with melting snow higher up the mountains, led to numerous rivers bursting their banks.
The rain/snow limit started at around 2000-2200m early yesterday morning but quickly rose to 2400-2600m, and up to 2800m in the more exposed foothills of the north and west. Above 2500-2800m there is a lot of fresh snow – well over 1m at 3000m in the Massif du Mt Blanc, for example. The recent rain has been less of an issue the further east south you are, with some (southern) parts of the Alps staying dry.
Today (Saturday) some showers remain across the northern Alps. These will clear away eastwards only to be replaced by further rain (again mostly affecting the northern Alps tonight). It will remain mild with the rain/snow limit rising from 2300m to about 2900m by tomorrow morning.
It will turn even warmer over the next few days with further showers or longer spells of rain, particularly across the northern Alps, with a rain/snow limit close to 3000m.
As for skiing conditions, well there’s plenty of powder at very high altitude but conditions quickly become mushy below 2600m or so, and this threshold will only rise with the warmer temperatures forecast over the next few days. So if you are planning to ski this weekend, stay above 3000m if you can!
Updated: 9.10am Friday 1 May 2015 - Major bad weather day, especially in the northern and western Alps
There are warnings out today for heavy rain in the north-western Alps. The areas most affected will be the northern French Alps (particularly the Haute-Savoie) and the far western Swiss Alps.
Above about 2500m this rain will fall as snow, with significant and potentially problematic accumulations at high altitude, especially in the Mt Blanc area where over 1m of (windblown) new snow is expected at 3000m by the end of tonight. Lower down, flooding will be an issue in places.
Many other parts of the Alps will also have a wet and miserable day (with snow above 2300-2600m), but the precipitation will be less intense and more showery the further south and east you are, with one or two spots staying completely dry. All in all this is not a good day to be in the high mountains.
The forecast is for it to stay unsettled but mild over the weekend with further rain (and some snow at high altitude) at times.
Updated: 9.55am Thursday 30 April 2015 - Unsettled, turning milder
The weather is unsettled across the Alps right now. Showers (and some snow above 1600m) will clear the eastern Alps later today, but return to the west tonight.
At high altitude some serious quantities of snow are expected over the next few days, across the western Alps in particular.
Updated: 9.25am Wednesday 29 April 2015 - Great skiing in the few resorts still open
It’s a chilly but mostly fine start to the day across the Alps with plenty of sunshine, especially in the east. Later in the day showers will return to some western parts of the Alps, especially the south-west with a little snow above 2000m.
Given the recent snow and relatively low temperatures conditions are (generally) superb today in the few high altitude resort still open. The forecast for the rest of the week is mixed with bright spells, and bits and pieces of rain/snow here and there. Temperatures will remain slightly below average at first before warming up a little over the weekend.
Updated: 9.20am Tuesday 28 April 2015 - Colder, fresh snow in places
Much colder air has finally arrived in the Alps – accompanied by some fresh snow for most of the ski areas that are still open.
The snow has not been as heavy as originally anticipated (8cm, for example, in Val Thorens this morning) but, combined with the big drop in temperature, is good news for the handful of high altitude resorts that remain open.
Today (Tuesday) any snow will quickly die away from the western Alps but will continue for a time further east, especially in Austria where it will fall as low as 1200-1500m in the north.
The rest of the week will continue unsettled and relatively cool for the time of year, with further bits and pieces of snow at altitude.
Updated: 10.45am Monday 27 April 2015 - Active cold front approaching
The big drop in temperature that we have been anticipating for some time now (but which has been delayed) will start later today as an active cold front approaches from the north-west.
This morning there are already showers across the western Alps, heaviest and most persistent in the southern French, western Italian and far south-western Swiss Alps with snow above 2300m or so. Later today the showers will become more generalised (across the western Alps), becoming heavy and persistent for a time tonight with the rain/snow limit dropping to 1300m (locally lower) by Tuesday morning.
Due to the Foehn effect, the north-eastern Alps (most of Austria) will stay dry and quite warm today, with the wintry conditions only arriving later tonight and tomorrow.
We are therefore expecting significant new snowfall in most if not all of the high altitude ski areas still open – with 50cm+ by Tuesday afternoon in a few favoured spots. Tune into Today in the Alps tomorrow for updates.
Updated: 11.45am Sunday 26 April 2015 - Still mild, further showers, mostly in the west
It is turning increasingly unsettled across the Alps, but the big drop in temperature once forecast for today has been put back until later tomorrow – Tuesday even for the eastern Alps.
Today we can therefore expect relatively mild temperatures. The eastern Alps will be mostly dry with plenty of sunshine, but there will be a scattering of showers further west with a little snow above 2500m here and there.
The fun and games really start tomorrow as a cold front moves down from the north-west bringing a spell of heavier rain and, later in the day, snow to increasingly low levels. By Tuesday the heaviest of the snow will be across Austria, by which time it could be falling as low as 1000m.
Updated: 8am Saturday 25 April 2015 - Showers in the west
It’s a much cloudier day in the western Alps than we have been used to, with showers and a little snow above 2500m or so.
Further east it is mostly dry with good sunny spells, especially in Austria. The big drop in temperature that we have been talking about recently is still going to happen, but has been pushed back to Monday when heavy rain will turn increasingly to snow (first below 2000m then 1300m) especially in the north and west.
Tuesday will be the coldest day with further showers, these heaviest in the north-east (especially in Austria) with snow possible to as low as 600-800m!
Updated: 8.45am Friday 24 March 2015 - Big but localised snowfall in the eastern Alps
The Tirol Avalanche Service is reporting between 50 and 75cm of new snow in the Osttirol in the last 24 hours, more than expected but sadly too late to be much use for skiers as most resorts in the region have now closed for the season!
Parts of nearby Carinthia also saw significant snow, but here it is still possible to ski on the Mölltal glacier, where the weather is sunny again this morning and conditions are just perfect.
Other parts of Austria (away from the west) also saw at least a little snow at altitude – as did parts of the Dolomites – but most of the Alps have remained dry and will do so again today (Friday).
The weekend does look unsettled, however, with much colder weather and more widespread snow forecast on Sunday night and into the first part of next week. Watch this space...
Updated: 9.30am Thursday 23 April 2015 - Mostly fine, but unsettled in far eastern Alps
The area of high pressure responsible for the fine, warm weather over the last few days is pulling away to the north-west allowing a disturbance to affect the far eastern Alps today.
Most of the Alps will still be dry with good sunny spells and just patchy afternoon cloud. However, showers will affect the southern and eastern Austrian Alps as well as the Dolomites, heaviest later in the day with the rain/snow limit falling to around 1600-1800m. These areas could see 5-20cm of new snow above 2200m by tonight, with 30cm+ locally along the main Alpine ridge in the Osttirol region (e.g. Grossglockner area).
The best skiing conditions today will therefore be at altitude in the western Alps, with plenty of sunshine and freezing levels between 2500m and 2800m (not excessive for late April).
After a mostly dry and bright day on Friday it will turn increasingly unsettled over the weekend, with showers for many and snow to increasingly low levels in the north on Sunday and Monday!
Updated: 9.30am Wednesday 22 April 2015 - Still mostly fine
It’s another mostly fine day across the Alps, with just a little patchy cloud later on and freezing levels between 2600m in the east and 3200m in the west.
Expect typical spring snow conditions in the Alps today, with a slightly more pronounced afternoon thaw in the west where the temperatures are that bit higher. You can still find cold wintry snow all day long, but only on north-facing slopes above about 2600m in Austria, and above 3000m in the west (France).
Updated: 9.15am Tuesday 21 April 2015 - Sunny, warmer
It’s another cracking day across the Alps, with almost wall-to-wall sunshine, light winds, and warmer temperatures than we saw yesterday.
The highest temperatures will be in the western Alps, where freezing levels will reach 3300m with maximum temperatures of around 10°C in Tignes (2100m) and 14°C in Zermatt (1620m). In Austria, the freezing levels will be closer to 2500m. Expect a pronounced freeze-thaw cycle, particularly in the west, where only the highest north-facing runs (above 3000m) will retain “wintry” snow all day long.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) it will remain mostly fine, though with rather more in the way of cloud bubbling up during the day.
Updated: 9.25am Monday 20 April 2015 - Mostly sunny
It’s a mostly sunny but relatively fresh feeling day in store for the Alps, at least at altitude, with freezing levels between 2300m and 2800m, a little below what you might expect at this time of year.
With the relatively cool and dry air mass today, the snow should stay wintry on north-facing slopes above about 2400m or so, with excellent conditions up on the glaciers. Lower down, however, and especially on slopes more exposed to the sun, expect a pronounced freeze/thaw cycle – pretty much unavoidable at this time of year.
Updated: 8.30am Saturday 18 April 2015 - New snow in places at altitude
There has been lots of rain across the northern Alps over the last 24 hours. With the drop in temperature this has turned increasingly to snow above about 1500m in the east (Austria), and above 2300m in the west (France).
At 2500m, up to 20cm of new snow has fallen in the northern Swiss, and northern and western Austrian Alps. Further south, precipitation has been more erratic, but there have been modest accumulations (at altitude) here and there (10cm at Plan Maison above Cervinia, for example).
Today there are still some snow showers across the northern (especially north-eastern) Alps, with the rain snow limit around 1000-1500m. However these showers will tend to die away, and most other parts of the Alps will be dry (if rather cool) with the best of the sunshine in the south.