Latest snow forecast

Updated: 2pm Tuesday 17 November 2015

Welcome to our detailed look at the weather in the Alps, updated twice weekly.

 

After an exceptionally warm start to November, a dramatic change is expected in the Alpine weather this weekend, with the first serious low altitude snowfalls of the season for some. We say “for some” because not everyone will see huge dumps this time around. With one or two exceptions, these will be reserved for the north-western half of the Alps.

 

However, it will turn much colder across the board which will, at the very least, allow the snow cannons to function at full throttle in those less favoured areas (such as the Dolomites).

 

The action kicks off on Friday with increasingly persistent and heavy precipitation across the northern and western Alps (especially the northern French and western Swiss Alps). Any snow may initially only fall above 2000m, but will drop to 1500m or lower towards the end of the day.

 

Then, with the wind turning more to the north on Saturday and Sunday, it will turn colder still with further snow showers to low levels, mostly across the northern half of the Alps.

 

The weather in the Alps remains interesting next week, with further storms likely to move down from the north or north-west which means more snow is likely at times.

 

At present, it does look like the northern and western Alps will again be the most favoured, but we are not ruling out the southern Alps getting a decent look in as well! 

Weather to ski - Snow forecast, 17 November 2015 Could we see scenes like this in parts of the Alps this weekend?

Detailed snow forecast:

Austria

Wednesday will be dry with variable cloud in the east, but virtually wall to wall sunshine in the western and southern Austrian Alps. It will remain very mild with freezing levels close to 3000m.

 

Thursday will be a fraction cooler but still mostly sunny, though with some patchy cloud in the north later.

 

Friday may start dry in places, but rain will quickly reach the northern and western Austrian Alps with snow initially above 2000m, perhaps falling to 1500m or lower in the west by evening. The southern Austrian Alps (East Tirol, Carinthia) should stay mostly dry. 

France

Wednesday may see some early cloud across the northern French Alps, but this should break up to allow good sunny spells for all areas. It will remain very mild with freezing levels close to 3000m.

 

Thursday will continue dry, bright and mild.

 

On Friday, rain will quickly reach the northern and western Alps, becoming heavy and persistent as the day progresses. Rain will also reach most of the southern French Alps during the day, though the far south may stay completely dry. The rain/snow limit will start above 2000m, but will come down steadily to reach 1500m or lower later.

Tignes, France - Weather to ski - Snow forecast, 17 November 2015 Very little snow below glacier level in Tignes at the moment, but it’s all change this weekend - Photo: tignes.net

Italy

Wednesday and Thursday may see a little high cloud at times, but it will remain dry with plenty of sunshine and freezing levels close to 3000m.

 

On Friday many places will start dry, but showers will reach some western parts of the Italian Alps during the course of the day, particularly in the Aosta region with snow above 2200m, dropping later. Some other parts of the Italian Alps may also see a few showers spilling over the border regions later in the day, but the far south (close to the Mediterranean) and far east (eastern Dolomites) should stay dry all day. 

Livigno, Italy - Weather to ski - Snow forecast, 17 November 2015 Only a little snow is expected to fall in the Livigno area this weekend, at least in the first instance - Photo: valtline.it

Switzerland

Wednesday and Thursday will be mostly dry and very mild, with a mixture of sunny spells and some high cloud at times, especially in the north. Freezing levels will be close to 3000m.

 

On Friday, rain will sweep in from the west, reaching most parts as the day progresses. The rain will be heaviest in the west, with snow initially above 2000m, dropping to 1500m or lower later.

Outlook:

Saturday and Sunday will be cold with snow showers to low levels (500-700m), particularly across the northern Alps. The southern side of the Alps will see fewer showers and more in the way of sunshine, but it will be very windy everywhere, especially at altitude.

 

Looking into next week and the wintry pattern looks set to continue with the chance of further significant snow at times. Watch this space… 

Next detailed snow forecast will be on Friday 20 November 2015, but see Today in the Alps for daily updates