Latest snow forecast
Updated: 7.30pm Tuesday 3 January 2017
The weather in the Alps is changing, but not everyone will see significant snow right away.
Tomorrow a more active front is set to bring heavy snow to the northern half of the Alps, heaviest in Switzerland and Austria. This snow will linger into Thursday in places.
In Switzerland, the heaviest snow will be in the central-northern and north-eastern Alps (e.g. Engelberg, Laax). In Austria, much of the country is in for a significant fall. The exception being the far south (Carinthia and parts of the Osttirol), which will only see the odd flurry.
In terms of figures, we are talking 25-50cm of new snow for the northern and north-eastern Alps by Thursday, locally even a little more. The far west of Switzerland (e.g. Verbier, Villars) and the northern French Alps, (e.g. Portes du Soleil, 3 Valleys) will see less snow - around 2-10cm being more likely here.
The southern Alps will also miss most of the action, with most places seeing little if any snow. By Friday most places should be dry but be warned, it will turn bitterly cold in the eastern Alps (especially in Austria)...
On Wednesday the far south of Austria (mostly Carinthia) will be mostly dry, with variable cloud and just the odd snow flurry later in the day. Nearly all other parts of the Austrian Alps will see snow at times, heaviest and most persistent later in the day and in the north. It will be cold and windy with snow falling to most of the valley bottoms.
On Thursday snow showers (at all levels) will continue for a time across the northern half of the Austrian Alps, perhaps easing later. South of the main Alpine ridge (Carinthia, Osttirol) it will be drier. It will feel very cold, especially at altitude where the wind will remain strong.
Friday will be mostly dry but bitterly cold with gusty winds and maximum temperatures below freezing, even in the lowlands. The best of the sunshine will be in the west.
Wednesday will dry with plenty of sunshine in the southern French Alps (south of Grenoble). Further north, cloud cover will be more variable with a few flurries (300-600m) later in the day, heaviest closest to the Swiss border (e.g. Avoriaz) but generally not amounting to very much.
On Thursday morning any remaining flurries will quickly clear the northern French Alps, leaving most areas with a sunny but cold day. Watch out for a nagging wind in more exposed areas.
Friday will again be sunny but will remain on the cold and windy side.
Wednesday will be mostly dry with sunny spells. However, cloud will increase near the northern border areas later in the day with one or two flurries possible here and there (e.g. Cervinia, Livigno).
Thursday will be similar with lots of dry and bright weather but also some cloud close to the border areas where the odd flurry is still possible. It will be cold and windy.
Friday is expected to be sunny across the board but still breezy and cold, especially in the east.
Wednesday will be mostly cloudy with the best of any brightness early in the day and in the south. Snow (to very low levels) will reach the northern Swiss Alps during the day, extending to most areas except the far south by evening, but always heaviest in the central-northern and north-eastern Alps (e.g. Engelberg, Laax, Flumserberg).
Thursday will see snow showers (at all levels) continue for a time across the northern Swiss Alps, dying away later. The best of any drier, brighter weather will be in the south but it will be cold and windy (especially at altitude).
Friday will be sunnier but very cold (especially in the east) and still windy in exposed areas.
The end of the week and the weekend will be bitterly cold in the eastern Alps (i.e. Austria) with variable cloud and the odd snow flurry.
Further west it will be a little milder (though still quite cold) with more in the way of sunshine.
Next detailed snow forecast will be on Friday 6 January 2017, but see Today in the Alps for daily updates