Latest snow forecast

Updated: Tuesday 1.40pm 5 January 2016

The general weather pattern remains a very unsettled one in the Alps, even if there are some drier, brighter interludes from time to time, particularly across the southern Alps.

 

It will again be the north-western Alps that will see the heaviest precipitation over the next few days, but with milder air in the mix, the rain/snow limit will rise later in the week to reach 1800m or so in some exposed areas for a time.

 

Further east, and in the more enclosed valleys generally, the snow-line should remain lower. The driest weather will continue to be in the southern and eastern Alps, where there will continue to only be bits and pieces of snow.

 

By the end of the week, seven day storm totals above 2000m are forecast to be over 1m across a wide swathe of the north-western Alps, locally up to 1.5m.

 

However, at low altitude and in the south-eastern half of the Alps more generally, much more snow is still needed to form anything like a convincing base. 

Detailed forecast:

Austria

The rest of Tuesday will see variable cloud and a few snow showers (700-1000m), mostly across the northern Austrian Alps but not amounting to much.

 

One or two well scattered showers are still possible on Wednesday (snow 800-1000m), but most places will again be dry with variable cloud and sunny spells.

 

Thursday will see a more organised band of precipitation move in to the west, spreading erratically eastwards during the day. The rain/snow limit will start below 1000m but could rise to 1400m in the far west later.

 

Friday will remain rather cloudy with a few showers here and there (snow 1000-1200m), heaviest later in the day and in the west.

Damüls, Austria - Weather to ski - Snow forecast, 5 January 2016 The Austrian Vorarlberg has some of the best snow in the country right now. This is Damüls.

France

The rest of today (Tuesday) will see plenty of sunshine in the southern Alps, but more variable cloud cover further north, with the chance of a few showers (snow 900m) especially in the Haute-Savoie. Many places will, however, stay dry.

 

Wednesday may start dry with some sunny spells but cloud will thicken up, especially across the northern half of the Alps, with some showers or longer spells of snow (800m) lasting into the night. The far southern French Alps may miss most of the precipitation.

 

Thursday will see heavier rain/snow reach many areas, though the far south may again miss the bulk of the precipitation. The rain/snow limit may start quite low (700-900m), especially in the more enclosed valleys, but could rise to 1500-1800m later in the day in areas exposed to the west.

 

There will be further heavy precipitation on Friday morning, chiefly in the northern half of the Alps with a rain/snow limit as high as 1600-1800m at times. The far southern Alps will again only see light and patchy rain/snow. Later in the day, the weather should improve generally.

TIgnes, France - Weather to ski - Snow forecast, 5 January 2016 Lots of fresh snow this week in L'Espace Killy. This is Tignes - Photo: facebook.com/tignes.net

Italy

The rest of today (Tuesday) will be mostly dry with variable cloud, but some decent sunny spells, especially in the west.

 

Wednesday will see a few showers (snow 800m) moving into the far north-west later in the day, otherwise most places will again be dry with variable cloud and sunny spells.

 

Thursday will see some showers move into the north-western Alps during the day, then further east later. The rain/snow limit will start low, but could rise to 1200m or more in the west later. Some north-western parts of the Alps could see a moderate fall of snow but, generally speaking, precipitation totals will be modest and parts of the eastern Italian Alps may even stay dry.

 

Friday will be mild with early rain (snow 1700m) in the north-western Italian Alps, while further east there will be fewer showers and more bright spells.

Gressoney, Italy - Weather to ski - Snow forecast, 5 January 2016 A break in the weather in the Monte Rosa region today. This is Gressoney - Photo: monterosa-ski.com

Switzerland

The rest of today (Tuesday) will see variable cloud with occasional showers (snow 800m), mostly in the north.

 

Wednesday may start dry, but showers or longer spells of rain/snow (700-900m) will move in from the west later. Any precipitation will be lighter and patchier the further south and east you are.

 

Thursday will again start dry in many places, but a more organised band of precipitation will soon move into the west, reaching most parts later. The rain/snow limit will start low (600-900m) but could reach 1400-1600m in the west later (higher even overnight).

 

Friday will see further showers or longer spells of rain/snow, heaviest in the morning in the west, lighter and patchier further east. The rain/snow limit could reach 1600m for a time in exposed areas, but will probably be lower in the more enclosed valleys. 

Verbier, Switzerland - Weather to ski - Snow forecast, 5 January 2016 Temporary reprieve in the otherwise unsettled weather in Verbier this week - Photo: facebook.com/verbier4vallees

Outlook:

It will continue to be unsettled, with the chance of further snow at times through the weekend and into next week, when it could also turn much colder. 

Next detailed snow forecast will be on Friday 8 January 2016, but see Today in the Alps for daily updates