Latest snow forecast
Updated: 9pm Tuesday 2 February 2016
Good news! The very mild spell that we have seen affecting the Alps over recent days will come to an abrupt end tonight as a moderately active cold front moves down from the north.
This cold front will bring a big drop in temperature and some useful snowfall to the northern half of the Alps - certainly more than was forecast only a couple of days ago - but not much (again) for the south.
Further fronts will arrive from the north on Thursday, with the heaviest snow favouring Austria. It will be mild again everywhere to end the week, but not as mild as we have seen recently.
Over the next 48 to 60 hours we can expect 20-50cm of new snow above 1500m across a wide swathe of the northern Alps, with 70cm or more possible in a few favoured locations such as the Austrian Vorarlberg. Snow will also get down into the lowlands at times.
Wednesday will be cloudy with outbreaks of snow, falling to increasingly low levels.
It will remain mostly cloudy on Thursday with further snow showers, heaviest and most persistent later in the day. The rain/snow limit will start very low, but will creep up towards 900m in the far west later.
Friday will see some early showers across the northern Austrian Alps with a rain/snow limit between 600m and 1400m east to west. The far south should be brighter, and this sunnier weather should extend to many other parts later in the day.
Wednesday will be mostly cloudy with some spells of snow, heaviest in the north, with the rain/snow limit at 500m or less. The far southern French Alps may stay mostly dry.
Thursday will continue mostly cloudy with a few snow flurries in the north, especially early and late in the day, but not as heavy as on Wednesday. It will also turn a little milder, with the rain/snow limit creeping up towards 1000m. The south will again see very little precipitation and more in the way of sunshine.
Friday is expected to be dry, bright and relatively mild.
Wednesday will be mostly cloudy with scattered snow flurries to increasingly low levels, most frequent close to the northern border regions, but with some sheltered spots also staying dry (especially the far southern French and south-western Italian Alps).
Thursday should start dry with variable cloud, but some further snow flurries (still to low levels) are possible later in the day, especially close to the Austrian border.
Friday will be drier and brighter, but milder everywhere.
Wednesday will be mostly cloudy with showers or longer outbreaks of snow, heaviest across the northern Swiss Alps with a rain/snow limit dropping to under 500m. Some parts of the far south may only see patchy precipitation.
It will remain unsettled on Thursday with further showers, heaviest later in the day and in the north-east, but with the rain/snow limit rising towards 1000m.
Friday will see any early showers clear the east, then most areas will be bright and relatively mild.
It looks like it will remain unsettled this weekend and into the first part of next week, with further snow in places, mostly in the south and west at first, but potentially affecting all areas later.