Today in the Alps...
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.
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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.
Updated: 8am Friday 17 April 2015 - Mostly cloudy, showers, some snow at altitude
It’s a mostly cloudy day across the Alps with a scattering of showers, which will tend to become more frequent as the day wears on.
The heaviest and most persistent showers will be in the western Alps with a rain/snow limit starting around 2300m but descending to 2000m later - lower still overnight. Above 2500m, 10-20cm of new snow is likely in some western parts of the Alps – a little more perhaps in the northern French and western Swiss Alps.
Tonight and tomorrow, the most frequent showers will be in the north-eastern quarter of the Alps (notably Austria) with a rain/snow limit descending to 1000-1400m for a time. However, snowfall totals are expected to be modest.
Updated: 9.20am Thursday 16 April 2015 - Still very mild, mostly dry but cloud thickening in the south and west
For many parts of the Alps it will be another mostly fine day. However there is, generally speaking, more cloud around than we have seen recently – particularly in the south-western Alps where one or two showers are possible later in the day.
It won’t feel quite as warm in the west as it did yesterday (when temperatures hit 25°C in Bourg St Maurice), but freezing levels will still be close to 3000m with max temps of 20°C in Chamonix (1035m) and 14°C in Zermatt (1620cm). The best of the sunshine will be in the northern Austrian Alps where 22°C is expected in Kitzbühel (760m).
As you would expect, spring snow conditions will again prevail across the Alps today with lots of afternoon slush (earlier on lower slopes exposed to the sun). Only on north-facing slopes above about 2700m might you find firm and grippy snow all day long.
Tomorrow showers will become more prevalent, especially later in the day, with some snow to 2200m. Temperatures will fall further still on Saturday with snow showers as low as 1200m in some north-eastern parts of the Alps.
Updated: 9.15am Wednesday 15 April 2015 - Another warm and mostly sunny day, but all change later in the week
Another warm and mostly fine day is expected across the Alps, with freezing levels between 3200m and 3400m and maximum temperatures reaching 16°C in Lech (1450m) and 11°C in Val Thorens (2300m).
Needless to say there will be a very pronounced freeze/thaw cycle today, with lots of slush this afternoon and only north-facing slopes above about 2800-3000m retaining firm, grippy snow all day long.
Change is afoot, however, with cooler showery weather forecast for later in the week, particularly on Friday night and Saturday morning, when snow is forecast to 1500m or lower in some northern parts of the Alps.
Updated: 9.20am Tuesday 14 April 2015 - Early showers in the far eastern Alps, otherwise mostly fine
A weak cold front is producing one or two showers (snow 2000m) in the far eastern Austrian Alps this morning, otherwise most other areas are dry with plenty of sunshine.
Later this morning any isolated showers in the Austrian Salzburgerland and Styria will die away, leaving all areas with a dry and bright day. The best of the sunshine and warmest of the temperatures will be in the western Alps, with freezing levels around 3300m in France this afternoon, but closer to 2500m in Austria.
Expect a pronounced freeze-thaw cycle everywhere but especially in the west.
Updated: 8.20am Monday 13 April 2015 - Mostly fine
It’s another mostly fine day in store for the Alps with plenty of sunshine, though some patchy cloud will develop this afternoon, especially across the eastern Alps. Freezing levels will range from around 2500m in the east to 3300m in the south-west.
Tonight, cooler conditions with a few showers (snow 1500m) will affect the eastern Austrian Alps, but they will not be of any great significance. The next few days will then be fine again right across the Alps, with freezing levels close to 3000m and a pronounced freeze/thaw cycle in those resorts that remain open.
Updated: 9.10am Sunday 12 April 2015 - Cloudy at first in the east, otherwise mostly fine
As expected, yesterday saw more cloud around than in recent days, especially across the northern and eastern Alps where there were a few showers (dusting of snow above 2200m).
Today there is still some residual cloudiness across parts of the eastern Alps (notably Austria), but further west it is mostly sunny and this brighter weather will extend to all parts later. Temperatures will be mild but not excessively warm for mid-April with freezing levels between 2500m and 3000m.
Snow conditions remain typically spring-like, however without a proper overnight re-freeze in the eastern Alps it will be “mushy” at low/mid altitude from the word go. Further west, where it was clearer, the freeze/thaw cycle will be more discernible.
Updated: 10.50am Saturday 11 April 2015 - A little cooler, mostly fine, isolated showers
The temperature has dropped a little today. Many regions are still fine, but there will be a bit more in the way of cloud around, especially across the northern Swiss and Austrian Alps this afternoon with one or two well scattered showers here and there (snow 2000m).
Spring snow conditions are still the order of the day, with plenty of slush this afternoon, especially at low altitude. It will, however, feel a little cooler than of late with freezing levels between 2300m and 2900m (north to south).
There’s little change tomorrow (Sunday), with variable cloud but also some decent spells of sunshine and just the outside chance of a shower in the north and east.
Updated: 9.20am Friday 10 April 2015 - Still mostly fine, some cloud in the west later
It’s another fine spring day for most of the Alps, with freezing levels again close to 3000m and maximum afternoon temperatures of 21°C in Innsbruck (574m), 20°C in Chamonix (1035m), 13°C in Zermatt (1620m) and 11°C in Val d’Isère (1850m).
The best of the sunshine will be in the eastern Alps. Further west it will start sunny, but high cloud will invade later in the day making things rather hazy at times. An isolated shower is also possible by the evening, but most places should stay dry.
Not surprisingly, spring conditions are the order of the day with snow softening as the day progresses, first on east-facing slopes, then on south and west-facing ones. As we have been pointing out all week you can still find firm grippy snow all day long on high north-facing slopes (roughly above 2500m), but expect lots of afternoon slush at low altitudes, the worst of which will be on south and west-facing slopes.
It will turn a little cooler tomorrow (Saturday) with one or two showers in places (snow 2000m), mostly in the northern and eastern Alps, but no significant precipitation is expected.
Updated: 8.45am Thursday 9 April 2015 - Sun, sun, sun!
Today’s Alpine summary is a very straightforward one – wall to wall sunshine and warm afternoon temperatures, with freezing levels close to 3000m (or even slightly above in the west).
This means that we are back in a strong freeze-thaw cycle with lots of slush low down by the afternoon (earlier on south and east-facing slopes). If you want to ski cold “wintry” snow all day long this is still possible, but only in resorts with north-facing slopes above 2500m or so.
We have one more day of warm sunshine tomorrow before the weather turns cooler and slightly more unsettled over the weekend. However, we are not expecting any significant precipitation, just a few scattered showers.