Latest snow forecast
Updated: 5.30pm Tuesday 29 December 2015
The weather in the Alps is changing at last, with some significant snowfall on its way for many (though perhaps not all) regions over the next 7-10 days.
The first (relatively modest) snowfalls will mostly affect the northern and western Alps on Thursday and Friday, with perhaps 5-15cm above 1500m. The second storm will arrive on Saturday, again with the western Alps most in the firing line.
Later in the weekend and into the first part of next week snowfall should become heavier and more widespread, but with fluctuating temperatures there may be also be some rain at times lower down.
Generally speaking, the north-western Alps look like seeing the heaviest snowfalls in the next week or so, while the south-eastern Alps (e.g. the Dolomites) see the least.
Predicting snowfall totals over the next seven days is very speculative, but there is the potential for over 1m of new snow to fall at altitude in some western, and especially north-western parts of the Alps.
Wednesday will be dry, mostly sunny and relatively mild, though colder air will be trying to creep into the far eastern and south-eastern Alps.
Thursday will again be dry with variable cloud and sunny spells. However, cloud will increase in the west later, with light to moderate snow likely in most regions (away from the south) on Thursday night.
Friday will be mostly cloudy, with some snow showers (1000m) dying away from the west, but lingering on further east. The far south (i.e. Carinthia) will again stay mostly dry.
Saturday should be mostly dry with variable cloud and some bright or sunny spells.
Wednesday will be mostly sunny and still relatively mild at altitude.
Thursday will see more in the way of cloud, with a little light precipitation mostly in the north and lasting into the night. The snow limit will start around 1500m, but will lower closer to 1000m later.
Friday should see any early clouds break up to leave a mostly fine day with sunny spells.
Saturday will be cloudier again with some snow expected across most parts, heaviest in the north with a rain/snow limit between 1000m and 1400m.
Wednesday will be mostly sunny and still feeling quite mild at altitude.
Thursday will again be mostly dry with sunny spells, but there will be more in the way of cloud later, with a few flakes of snow possible close to the border areas overnight.
Friday should be fine again with long sunny spells.
Saturday will see more in the way of cloud, with some snowfall possible above 1000-1400m in the western Italian Alps. It will stay brighter, but still with the chance of the odd flurry further east.
Wednesday will be mostly sunny and still quite mild at altitude.
Thursday should start dry and bright, but cloud will thicken from the west to bring some rain (snow above 1000-1400m) later in the day and overnight. Some parts of the far south will stay dry.
Friday will start mostly cloudy, with some snow (1000m) quickly dying away from the west but lingering for a while in the east. The southern Alps will again stay mostly dry with some sunny spells.
Saturday may start bright in the east, but cloud will thicken from the south-west with rain (snow 1000-1400m) spreading to most western parts as the day goes on. The eastern Swiss Alps should stay mostly dry.
Early next week (Sunday through to Wednesday) looks like being very unsettled, as a series of Atlantic fronts pile into the Alps from the north-west. This will bring significant snow to the northern and western Alps but, due to fluctuating temperatures, also the risk of some rain at low altitude early on.
The south-eastern Alps (e.g. Dolomites) will miss the heaviest of the precipitation for the time being.
Next detailed snow forecast will be on Friday 1 January 2016, but see Today in the Alps for daily updates