Today in the Alps...

Updated: 10.30am Thursday 18 April 2024 – Significant snow for the northern Alps…

 

As expected, winter has made a return to the Alps, with significant snow falling in places, mostly in the north. Unlike the very short wintry spells in recent weeks, this is set to last longer, with further important snowfalls due over the next few days, especially (again) in the north.

Blue skies and cloud over the freshly snow-covered mountains in Lech, Austria, with panoramic views over the valley – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 18 April 2024 Fresh snow today in Lech, with lots more to come over the next couple of days – Photo: foto-webcam.eu, 18 April 2024

Indeed, Lech (pictured) could see an additional 50cm+ between now and the weekend, when the resort is scheduled to close. What’s more, the snow will fall to low levels, making for some of the best skiing yet this season.

 

Next week will remain cold, with the heaviest of the snow shifting towards the western Italian and southern French Alps, with a possible ‘Retour d’Est’ which would also include the Val d’Isère/Tignes area.

 

If you are planning a late season trip to the Alps next week, some of the best bets include: Ischgl and, Sölden in Austria, Cervinia in Italy, Engelberg and Zermatt in Switzerland, and Val d’Isère, Tignes and Val Thorens in France.

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Snow conditions are very mixed across the Alps this Easter…

 

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Update: 1pm Tuesday 16 April 2024 - A late taste of winter in the Alps…

 

After another very warm spell in the Alps, which saw two separate record-breaking April heatwaves with temperatures hitting 30°C in some lower valleys and as high as 17°C at 2000m, the weather broke again yesterday with cold unstable air flooding down from the north. This unstable polar airstream has already delivered some snow across the higher parts of the northern Alps, with further snow forecast to increasingly low altitudes both today and over the next few days.

Low cloud and snow falling on the ski slopes of St Anton, Austria, with view over snow-covered slopes towards the valley below – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 16 April 2024 Snow will fall to increasingly low levels in St Anton over the next few days – Photo: foto-webcam.eu, 16 April 2024

Most of this snow will again fall across the northern half of the Alps, where 15-30cm is expected by Thursday evening above 1800m in the northern French and western Swiss Alps (e.g. Tignes, Verbier), with 50cm+ in the central-eastern Swiss and western Austrian Alps (e.g. Engelberg, St Anton). The rain/snow limit will be low for the time of year, typically between 800m and 1200m, but as low as 500m at times, especially on Thursday.

 

The southern Alps will see much less (if any) snow over the next few days, although some significant accumulations are still possible in high resorts close to the main Alpine ridge, including Cervinia.

 

Needless to say, you will still have to aim high if you are planning a late season trip to the Alps but, conditions should be excellent in the coming days in those resorts still open, at least in the northern Alps and if you can find a break in the weather.

Updated: 8.30am Monday 8 April 2024 – Exceptional temperatures recorded in the Alps for early April…

 

Over the last few days, the weather has been exceptionally warm in the Alps, with freezing levels as high as 4000m and unprecedented temperatures for early April (of close to 30°C) recorded in several lower valleys, especially those affected by the Foehn.

Saharan dust creating hazy skies above Zermatt, Switzerland – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 8 April 2024 Saharan dust creating hazy skies this morning above Zermatt, where colder, snowier weather is due later tomorrow – Photo: zermatt.ch, 8 April 2024

Needless to say, this has seriously impacted snow conditions across the Alps, not helped by the amount of Saharan dust in the atmosphere which, once deposited on the snow, accelerates the melt. This has led it to become increasingly difficult to find anything like “wintry” snow, with soft spring-like conditions for much for the day, and even on some of the glaciers by afternoon.

 

After another very warm day today (close to 30°C again in some parts of the Alpine lowlands) it will turn cooler on Tuesday and Wednesday, with some snow forecast to fall in many regions, which will improve conditions considerably.

 

Late on Tuesday the rain/snow limit will drop quickly to between 1200m and 1500m, and even lower in places on Wednesday. With significant accumulations of between 20-50cm at altitude, conditions will improve considerably in the higher resorts that remain open, including Val d’Isère, Val Thorens, Cervinia and Zermatt. These, alongside Tignes and Saas-Fee, will be our picks for the best snow conditions in the Alps later this week.

 

Later in the week it will then turn sunnier and warmer again everywhere, but without such crazily high temperatures this time around.

Updated: 12pm Thursday 28 March 2024 – Very snowy easter for some…

 

Spring continues to be unsettled in the Alps with further snow falling, today heaviest in Austria, before the south-west again bears the brunt of the storms this weekend.

Heavy snow falling in the resort of Lech, Austria, with view over the town towards the ski slopes beyond – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 28 March 2024 Heavy snow this morning in Lech, though it is actually the south-western Alps that have seen the bulk of the recent snow – Photo: lech.com, 28 March 2024

Over the last few days, the areas that have seen the most snow have been the higher parts of the south-western Alps, including Isola 2000, Montgenèvre, Sestriere and the Monte Rosa region. Many other regions have also seen at least a bit of snow, with a more general band set to cross the Alps from west to east today.

 

It will remain unsettled tomorrow and over the weekend with the heaviest snow returning to the south-western Alps. Indeed, Cervinia and the Monte Rosa region could see up to 1m or more by Sunday night.  

 

For anyone off to the Alps over the next week or so, conditions look very promising in the high resorts, especially in the south-western Alps which have seen the biggest storm totals in recent days.

 

Lower down though, any new snow is mostly only of aesthetic value as there is little, if any, natural base below about 1600m in the western Alps (even on north-facing slopes), and below 1200m in some eastern parts of the Alps.

Updated: 11am Monday 25 March 2024 – In between storms in the Alps!

 

It’s a mostly fine day in the Alps today, but cloud is already thickening in the west, heralding the start of a new storm cycle. This will influence the Alps for several days and be most active in the south and west.

Blue skies and sunshine above the resort of Lech and its snow-covered ski slopes – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 25 March 2024 Sunny in Lech today, with fresh snow having fallen at the weekend – Photo: lech-zuers.com, 25 March 2024

Last weekend saw significant snow in some northern and eastern Alpine regions, including much of Austria, at least at higher altitudes. Lower down, any natural base is now long gone across most of the Alps.

 

Over the next two to three days, between 20-50cm of snow can be expected in many southern regions, including the likes of Isola 2000, Sestriere, Monte Rosa and the Dolomites, with a rain/snow limit varying between 800m and 1500m.

 

The northern Alps will also see a bit of snow at times though it will generally be lighter and patchier, with perhaps 10-20cm for the likes of Avoriaz, Engelberg and Lech. In Switzerland and Austria most of the precipitation will fall on Wednesday.

Updated: 12pm Saturday 23 March 2024 – Colder in the Alps, with snow for some!

 

After an exceptionally mild week of weather in the Alps, it is now turning colder this weekend with snow for some, especially in the north.

Rain starting to turn to snow over the buildings and ski slopes in Lech, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 23 March 2024 Rain is just starting to turn to snow at midday today in Lech, where as much as 40cm of new snow is possible at altitude by the end of Sunday – Photo: lechzuers.com, 23 March 2024

Over the weekend, between 5-15cm is expected above 1800m quite widely across the northern Alps, with 30-40cm possible in parts of eastern Switzerland and western Austria (e.g. Lech/St Anton).

 

The southern Alps will generally see little, if any, precipitation, except for the south-east which later today will see some potentially quite heavy rain/snow in the eastern Italian Alps (e.g. Dolomites) and far south of Austria, produced by a secondary area of low pressure forming over Mediterranean.

 

Today the rain/snow limit will start at around 2000m but quickly fall to 1000-1400m later this afternoon, before falling further to 500-900m tonight, at least in the northern Alps. The rain/snow limit will drop more slowly in the south-east (e.g. Dolomites), probably settling at around 1000-1300m overnight.

Updated: 10.30am Thursday 21 March 2024 – Colder weather within sight!

 

The weather in the Alps remains mild, with showers or longer spells of rain today in the northern Alps, with snow falling only above 2000m or so in the east, and 2300m in the west. The southern Alps will be drier with some sunny spells. 

Rain falling on the ski slopes of Lofer, Austria, with patchy snow and view of ski lifts – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 21 March 2024 Mild and damp in the northern Austrian Alps today, but winter will return this weekend. This is Lofer – Photo: snoweye.com, 21 March 2024

After a mostly fine and, again, very mild day tomorrow, it will start to turn colder over the weekend with some snow in places. Most of the snow will fall in the northern Alps, especially in Austria, but some central and eastern Italian resorts could also see a useful top-up.

 

Snowfalls totals this weekend across the northern Alps are likely to be in the region of 10-20cm above 1500m in the northern French and western Swiss Alps (e.g. Tignes, Verbier), but 25-50cm (and more in places) in the central and eastern Swiss Alps (e.g. Engelberg) and Austrian Alps (e.g. St Anton, Kaprun, Obertauern). The rain/snow limit will fall sharply, reaching about 800m in the north-western Alps late on Saturday and 500m further east.

 

Right now, snow conditions are very spring-like across much of the Alps, and you need to be skiing above 2500m or so to ensure wintry snow conditions for all or most of the day. This weekend’s colder weather will improve snow conditions considerably, even in the areas that won’t see much new snow (south-western Alps). That said, there is no natural base at lower altitudes (even to quite high levels in places) so you should still aim high if you are planning to ski this easter. 

Updated: 9.30am Monday 18 March 2024 – New storm in the Alps, but still very mild…

 

A new storm has reached the Alps today but, with temperatures remaining mild, any snowfall will again be confined to relatively high altitudes. 

Heavy snow falling on the ski slopes at high altitude in Engelberg, with view of two mountain buildings and thick cloud – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 18 March 2024 Heavy snow at high altitude in Engelberg this morning, but it’s raining lower down – 18 March 2024 Photo: titlis.ch

The northern half of the Alps will see the most precipitation today with typically 5-15 cm of new snow above 2200m, but 30cm or more at high altitude in a few spots like the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland and the Arlberg/Vorarlberg regions of Austria. It will rain though at lower altitudes, thanks to a rain/snow limit between 1700m and 2100m.

 

Any precipitation in the southern Alps will be lighter and patchier, though there will also be a lot of cloud, at least to start with. The weather will then start to clear up more generally in the western Alps later in the day.

 

As for snow conditions, they remain generally poor at low altitudes thanks to the continually mild and sometimes quite damp weather. At high altitudes most resorts still have lots of snow, though the quality is variable.

 

If you want your snow to remain “wintry” all day long, you will generally need to be skiing above 2500m for much of this week, and even higher at times on south-facing slopes. 

Updated: 11.30am Friday 15 March 2024 – Mild weather in the Alps, with a little snow due across some northern regions tonight…

 

Pressure remains relatively high over the Alps, meaning plenty of dry fine weather today, especially in the south. Further north, there is more in the way of cloud with the risk of a few showers or flurries (1800-2100m), especially later in the day.

Plenty of snow on the ski slopes of Lech, Austria, with view over the village towards the ski slopes and lifts, and cloudy skies above – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 15 March 2024 Plenty of snow in Lech still but cloudy and mild today – 15 March 2024 – Photo: lech.com

Showers will become more persistent tonight across the northern Alps with a rain/snow limit falling to around 1500m later. Around 5-10cm snow can be expected above 1800m in the likes of Kaprun, St Anton, Engelberg and Avoriaz, while the southern half of the Alps will stay mostly dry.

 

This weekend will be very mild across the northern Alps with variable cloud cover and a few light showers (flurries 2000-2400m). The southern Alps will remain dry with plenty of sunshine. 

Updated: 11.40am Thursday 14 March 2024 - Mild in the Alps, with a bit of snow forecast for some higher northern areas over the next few days…

 

It’s a mostly fine and mild day across the Alps today, with plenty of sunshine but also some areas of cloud drifting around, notably in Austria. 

Good snow cover on the ski slopes of Bardonecchia, Italy, with panoramic views of blue skies over the mountains and valley below, and skilift in the foreground – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 14 March 2024 Good snow cover in Bardonecchia right now thanks to multiple big snowfalls over the last couple of weeks – Photo: bardonecchia.it, 14 March 2024

Tomorrow it will remain fine and mostly sunny across the southern Alps, though thickening cloud will bring showers to the northern Alps later in the day. These will linger overnight, delivering a few centimetres of new snow above about 1800-2000m in places (e.g. Avoriaz, Engelberg, St Anton).

 

Weather fronts will continue to brush the northern Alps between Sunday and Tuesday (especially on Monday), however, these will only bring fresh snow above about 2000m and in relatively modest quantities.

 

Snow conditions remain very mixed across the Alps. Conditions are generally good at high altitude, especially in the south-western Alps (e.g. Monte Rosa, Cervinia, Montgenèvre, Isola 2000) which have seen so much new snow in recent days. Lower down though, the lack of snow is very noticeable in many regions, with the thaw set to accelerate over the next few days, and particularly next week.

Updated: 8.30am Monday 11 March 2024 – Latest “south-western” storm comes to an end…

 

Weathertoski is currently in Morzine where it is a bright start to the day with just a few banks of innocuous mid-level cloud. Later in the day we are expecting thicker cloud to bring a few light snow flurries with a rain/snow limit close to 1200m. 

View of ski slopes beyond the rooftops of buildings in Morzine, France – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 11 March 2024 Bright skies over Morzine this morning but some light showers or flurries are expected later on today – Photo: weathertoski.co.uk, 11 March 2024

This follows a wet day yesterday, which saw rain at resort level, but snow above 1300-1400m, with around 10cm of fresh on the higher slopes above Avoriaz.

 

The big snow story though is once again in the southern Alps, where 50-100cm of snow has fallen over the weekend (with more in places) in some south-western areas, including Isola 2000, the Milky Way and the Monte Rosa region. Some more northern French resorts close to the Italian border, such as Val Cenis and Val d’Isère, also saw significant snow, as did parts of southern Switzerland, including Zermatt, Saas-Fee and the Aletsch Arena.

 

In general, the further north-east you are, the less snow you would have seen from this latest storm cycle, with little if any snow at all in many Austrian resorts.

Snow conditions remain very mixed across the Alps, with incredible skiing on offer in some areas, notably in the south-western Alps (e.g. Monte Rosa, Sestriere, Isola 2000).

 

However, many low areas continue to struggle further north and east. Here in Morzine, you can still find some decent piste-skiing above about 1600m but there is no natural base lower down.

Updated: 10am Thursday 7 March 2024 - Further big snowfalls this weekend for some south-western parts of the Alps…

 

A new storm is approaching the Alps from the west, with big snowfalls forecast again for the south-western Alps between Friday and Sunday. 

Bergfex chart showing cumulative snowfall forecast between 7 and 10 March, with the most snow (i.e. the brightest colours) again expected to be in the south-western Alps – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 7 March 2024 Between now and Sunday 10 March 2024, the most snow (the brightest colours) is again expected to fall in the south-western Alps – Image: bergfex.com, 7 March 2024

Meanwhile, it’s a fine day today across most of the Alps. Tomorrow will also see plenty of sunshine, especially the further north and east you are. In the south-west, however, cloud will thicken with some snow due in places later in the day, especially close to the southern French-Italian border (e.g. Isola 2000, Sestriere)  and north-western Italian-Swiss borders (e.g. Cervinia, Monte Rosa).

 

Over the weekend there will be further pulses of potentially heavy snow for parts of the south-western Alps, with the Monte Rosa region likely to see the most, where storm totals could be in the region of 50-80cm by Sunday.

 

As happened last weekend, some significant snow could also spill over into the south-east of the French Savoie (e.g. Val Cenis, Val d’Isère) and into parts of the southern Swiss Alps (e.g. Zermatt, Saas-Fee). However, for most other parts of the Alps, any snowfall will be lighter, patchier or even non-existent - areas most likely to miss out completely being the far northern and north-eastern Alps.

 

Between Friday and Sunday morning , there will also be a strong Foehn (mild, gusty wind) blowing across many central and northern parts of the Alps, which may hamper lift operations in places.

Updated: 3.45pm Monday 4 March 2024 – Huge snowfall totals for some south-western parts of the Alps…

 

The storm that hit the south-western Alps over the weekend has delivered some staggering snowfall totals in places, far greater than originally predicted. 

Blue skies and cloud over the snowy resort centre of Auron in the southern French Alps – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 4 March 2024 Around 80cm of new snow has fallen over the weekend in Auron in the southern French Alps – Photo: auron.com, 4 March 2024

The regions that saw the most snow were the Italian Piedmont and far eastern Aosta (e.g. Prali, Sestriere, Monte Rosa, Macugnaga), close to the Italian border in the southern French Alps (e.g. Isola 2000, Queyras), and in the Haute- Maurienne (e.g. Bonneval sur Arc). These areas have seen between 1- 2m of new snow in the last three days, and in some cases 1m or more in just 24 hours alone.

 

Other areas that have done very well, but with slightly less extreme figures, include Montgenèvre, Val d’Isère (although over 1m has fallen on the Pisaillas glacier), Zermatt and Saas-Fee.

 

Note that, as is normal with a ‘Retour d’est’ type situation, these huge snowfalls were quite localised, with huge differences between one valley and the next. For example, while this storm delivered over 1m of snow to the far southern end of Val d’Isère, Tignes only received 25cm, Les Arcs just 5cm and most of the northern French Alps saw little if anything. More generally, the northern and eastern Alps (including Austria) also missed most of the action this time around.

 

The good news, though, is that the next storm which is due to hit the Alps on Tuesday/Wednesday will favour those areas that missed out this weekend – namely the northern half of the Alps – although it is only forecast to deliver a more moderate 10-30cm of new snow.

 

All in all, it’s turning into an interesting March in the Alps, after what has been a rather disappointing season so far, at lower altitudes at least. 

Updated: 8am Sunday 3 March 2024 - New storm in the south-western Alps!

 

A new storm has hit the Alps, though its trajectory means that it will only really favour the south-western Alps, with snow not extending nearly as far north and east as was previously hoped. 

Heavy snow falling on the ski slopes of Prali, Italy, with view down the slopes over the chairlift and down to the village below – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 3 March 2024 Heavy snow in Prali today where up to 90cm is possible by tomorrow morning – Photo: praliskiarea.com, 3 March 2024

Over the next 24 hours, the region that will see the most snow is the southern French Alps, including areas close to the Italian border like Isola 2000, the Queyras and Montgenèvre, and as far north as Val Cenis and Val d’Isère. By tomorrow morning these regions will have seen 30-50cm, with even 60cm+ in the Queyras and Isola 2000.

 

On the Italian side, resorts that will do well include Prato Nevoso, Bardonecchia, Prali, Sestriere and the Monte Rosa region, especially the eastern end (Alagna). These areas will also see at least 30-50cm of new snow by tomorrow morning, with as much as 90cm possible in Prali!

 

The rest of the French Alps, the south-western Swiss Alps (e.g. Zermatt) and the western Aosta (e.g. La Thuile) will see some snow, but probably only in the 5-15cm range at best. The rest of the Alps (i.e. the northern and eastern Swiss Alps, the eastern Italian Alps and all of Austria) will miss out on this storm.

 

Snow conditions are now exceptional across some south-western regions (or at least will be once the storm clears) including in Isola 2000, Bardonecchia, the Milky Way and the Monte Rosa region. with With some exceptions (like Val d’Isère) conditions are more average elsewhere in the Alps, and poor at lower altitudes where natural snow cover remains patchy or non-existent. 

Updated: 9.20am Friday 1 March 2024 - The weather in the Alps remains changeable, with further snow forecast this weekend, heaviest in the south-west…

 

A weather front is moving east across the Alps today, which for most regions won’t produce more than a few centimetres of snow here and there. Some central/southern areas (notably between Zermatt/Saas-Fee and the Italian Lakes) will see significant snowfall however. Of the better-known ski areas, the Monte Rosa region is likely to do best, with 50cm+ possible above 1800m by tonight. The rain/snow limit will generally sit between 1200m and 1700m, but perhaps a little lower during the heaviest precipitation. 

Bergfex chart from 1 March 2024 showing cumulative snowfall figures between 1 and 4 March 2024, with the brightest colours showing the deepest falls, with some south-western areas seeing up to 1m, notably close to the Swiss/Italian border – Weather to ski Predicted snowfall between now and Monday 4 March 2024, with the brightest colours showing the deepest falls, with some south-western areas seeing up to 1m, notably close to the Swiss/Italian border – Image: bergfex.com, 1 March 2024

Over the weekend a new storm will arrive from the west bringing further significant snow to some south-western regions. Between Saturday morning and Monday morning, as much as 50-90cm of new snow could fall in areas including Isola 2000, Sestriere, Cervinia, Zermatt, Saas-Fee and the Monte Rosa region. The rest of the southern French Alps, especially resorts close to the Italian border (e.g. Montgenèvre) and as far north as Val d’Isère, will also see significant snow. The northern French Alps (e.g Portes du Soleil, Chamonix) will see less, with perhaps closer to 10cm.

 

Generally, during this weekend’s storm, the further north-east you are in the Alps the less snow you will see, with very little (if any) in the northern Swiss Alps (e.g. Engelberg) and more generally in Austria.

 

Snow conditions in the Alps are now best (or, at least, soon will be) in the higher resorts of the southern and south-western Alps, including Livigno, Monte Rosa, Cervinia, Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Sestriere, Montgenèvre and Isola 2000. Thanks to also catching snow spilling over the Italian border in these types of set-ups, Tignes/Val d’Isere and Val Cenis (among others) can also be added to this list.

 

More generally, there remain considerable weaknesses at low altitude across the Alps due to a proper base not ever having formed this season, including in Megève, Morzine, Gstaad, Grindelwald and many of the lower Austrian resorts (e.g. St Johann in Tirol). While these resorts are able to offer some reasonable piste-skiing higher up, they have little if any natural base lower down.

Updated: 8.30am Tuesday 27 February 2024 – More snow for some, mostly in the south…

 

An area of low pressure is currently centred over the Mediterranean, not far from Corsica. This will only drift very slowly southwards over the next couple of days, and this type of weather set-up means snow for the south-western Alps, with the most set to fall in the southern Italian Piedmont (e.g. Prato Nevoso, Bardonecchia, Sestriere) where 40cm+ is likely in the next 24-36 hours alone. 

Snow falling over the snow-covered slopes of Bardonecchia, Italy, with mountain building in the background surrounded by snow-covered trees – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 27 February 2024 That’s more like it! Looking much wintrier in Bardonecchia in the Italian Piedmont, with more snow on its way – Photo: bardonecchia.it, 27 February 2024

Other resorts that should do quite well are those very close to the southern French/Italian border, such as Isola 2000, the Queyras and Montgenèvre and, to a lesser extent, Val Cenis and Val d’Isère/Tignes.

 

Some useful, but not exceptional falls, are also expected a bit further north and east, in Pila, Cervinia, the Monte Rosa region and over the border in Zermatt and Saas-Fee. There will also be some moderate snowfalls right across the central/eastern Italian Alps, including in Livigno, Passo Tonale and the Dolomites. The extreme north-west of Italy (Courmayeur) and, more generally, the northern half of the Alps will see little or no snow, however.

 

Later this week a new storm will approach the Alps from the west, which is expected to deliver further snow, probably again favouring the southern Alps but perhaps also the west.

 

As for snow conditions in the Alps, they remain considerably better than they were a week or two ago and some resorts now have plenty of fresh snow to enjoy. However, many lower altitude areas are still struggling with a meagre, broken or even non-existent natural base, which is very difficult to rebuild at this stage of the season. 

Updated: Friday 23 February 2024 - Snow in the Alps!

 

It’s a mostly cloudy day across the eastern Alps today, with snow at times, heaviest in the south-east (e.g. Carinthia, Dolomites). In the western Alps (e.g. France) it is brighter with sunny spells. 

Snow falling on the snow-covered mountainside of Seefeld, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 23 February 2024 Snowing in the eastern Alps today. This is Seefeld in Austria – 23 February 2024 – Photo: foto-webcam.eu

This latest storm hit the western Alps yesterday but started with a relatively high rain/snow line (around 1600-2000m) before it turned much colder overnight. This morning, around 15-30cm of new snow has fallen above 2000m across much of the French, Swiss and north-western western Italian Alps with a few centimetres at lower altitudes too.

 

Today the region that will see the most snow is the south-eastern quarter of the Alps, including the Dolomites (e.g. Arabba), southern Austria (e.g. Nassfeld), Lombardy (e.g. Livigno) and the far south-east of Switzerland (e.g. St Moritz). By tomorrow morning these areas should see between 30-50cm of fresh snow at altitude, with up to 60cm in places. 

Updated: 11.25am Wednesday 21 February 2024 – Snow on its way for the Alps, but how much?

 

High pressure is slipping away to the south-east of the Alps allowing Atlantic weather fronts to invade from the west. Most of the Alps can expect at least some snow over the next few days, but it now looks like the southern Alps will do best.

Milky skies over Les Saisies, France – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 21 February 2024 Milky skies this morning over the northern French Alps, heralding the arrival of a new storm cycle that will affect the Alps over the next few days. This is Les Saisies – Photo: lessaisies.com, 21 February 2024

Today it will remain mostly dry, bright and mild across the Alps. However, there are some areas of cloud drifting around, and some more general high cloud spreading into the west ahead of the approaching storm. This cloud will thicken overnight with a few showers here and there across the western Alps, and a rain/snow limit between 1700m and 2000m.

 

Thursday will be a messy weather day across the western half of the Alps – mostly cloudy with bits and pieces of rain/snow but also some drier interludes. It will remain very mild with the rain/snow limit around 2000m in the far western Alps, but a bit lower (1300-1600m) in the more internal valleys (e.g. Haut-Valais). The eastern half of the Alps will remain mostly dry until evening.

 

Late on Thursday, a much more powerful cold front will reach the western Alps before moving east overnight to reach all the eastern Alps early on Friday. It will also turn colder, with the rain/snow limit dropping to 400-800m by the end of Friday.

 

Between now and Saturday morning we can expect between 15cm and 30cm of new snow above 1500m across most of the Alps, but 40- 50cm or even more across some central-southern and south-eastern regions such as St Moritz, Livigno, Passo Tonale and Cortina. 

 

Looking even further ahead, it seems likely that the weather in the Alps will remain cool and changeable early next week with further snow for some, the heaviest of which will again fall in the southern Alps.

 

Snow conditions will obviously improve in many areas over the next few days, particularly in the southern Alps. However, the lack of snow at low altitudes remains an issue and at this time of year it takes a lot of snow to rebuild any base. We will take a closer look at this in our detailed snow report out tomorrow…

Updated: 9.50am Monday 19 February 2024 – The weather pattern in the Alps is changing…

 

The weather in the Alps is changing, with significant snow likely to fall across much of the Alps by the weekend. Indeed, some weather fronts are already affecting the northern Alps, which will deliver some snow today in two phases.

Thin snowpack on the cross-country ski trails in Chamrousse, near Grenoble, France – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 19 February 2024 The snowpack is now thin on the cross-country trails in Chamrousse near Grenoble, though snow is on its way here later this week – Photo: chamrousse.com, 19 February 2024

The first phase of snow is arriving in the northern Alps this morning, before a second, more significant, phase comes this evening and overnight. The eastern Swiss and western Austrian Alps (e.g. Arlberg) will benefit most, with between 15-25cm of new snow above 1700m with a rain/snow limit initially around 1400-1600m but falling towards 1000m tonight.The north-western Alps (e.g Verbier, Avoriaz, Val d’Isère) will see less snow, with just a few centimetres at best.

 

Tuesday will see some flurries linger across the north-eastern Alps for a time, otherwise most places will remain dry.

 

The big storm cycle that has got everyone talking will then start to make its presence felt late on Wednesday and will continue to influence the weather in the Alps for several days. Most of the precipitation will initially fall in the western Alps, with the eastern Alps also getting involved by Friday. The rain/snow limit will be rather high to start with, typically between 1500m and 2200m on Wednesday night and at first on Thursday, before falling to lower levels late on Thursday and on Friday.

 

The weather will then continue very unsettled through the weekend by which point most of the Alps should have seen significant snow, at least at altitude. Temperatures won’t be that cold though (at least not yet), meaning that lower areas will again be troubled by rain at times, at least early on in this storm cycle. This should become less of an issue by the weekend when the cooler air will be more embedded. 

Updated: 10.15am Wednesday 14 February 2024 – Mostly fine and mild in the Alps…

 

High pressure is currently in charge of the weather in the Alps, meaning that most areas will be fine and dry today with plenty of sunshine. That said, there are some areas of cloud floating around, most prevalent in Austria. It will be mild everywhere. 

Plenty of snow on the slopes in St Anton, Austria, with panoramic view across the valley to the mountains beyond – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 14 February 2024 The Arlberg is one area that has had plenty of snow this season. This is St Anton – 14 February 2024 – Photo: foto-webcam.eu

It will remain mild and mostly fine in the Alps for the rest of this week, however, weak weather fronts will never be far away from the north, and these will finally introduce some showers or flurries to some northern areas by the weekend. Significant snow is not expected until the weekend of 23-25 February at the earliest though.

 

Snow conditions remain mixed across the Alps, generally with plenty of snow at high altitude, especially in the northern Alps (e.g. Tignes, Lech, Obertauern) but little snow lower down for the time of year. Most resorts can still offer plenty of piste-skiing, but serious off-piste opportunities remain limited. 

Updated: 1.40pm Monday 12 February 2024 – Still changeable in the Alps…

 

The weather in the Alps remains changeable, with flurries to relatively low levels today across some northern regions, especially Austria, though not generally amounting to much. Most other parts of the Alps will be dry with variable cloud cover and the best of any sunshine in the south. 

Cloudy skies over the ski-slopes of Les Gets, France, which have modest snow cover – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 12 February 2024 Modest snow cover but still plenty of reasonable piste-skiing in Les Gets – 12 February 2024 – Photo: lesgets.com

On Tuesday, most of the Alps will be dry with variable cloud cover, but a weak warm front will skirt the northern Alps later in the day with some light rain or snow in places (with the rain/snow limit rising to 1800m on Tuesday night).

 

Snow conditions in the Alps remain rather mixed, generally now best in the southern Alps (e.g. Isola 2000, Monte Rosa region) which saw most of the weekend’s snowfalls. Accumulations from this last storm were more modest in the northern Alps, but there is still plenty of reasonable piste-skiing to be found, especially at higher altitudes. However, natural snow cover generally remains unusually patchy at low altitude.

Updated: 11.40am Friday 9 February 2024 - New storm has arrived, favouring the south-western Alps…

 

The weather in the Alps has turned more unsettled with the arrival of a new storm from the south-west. Most of the Alps will see at least some snow over the next couple of the days, with two distinct parts of the south-western Alps set to be the most favoured. 

Thin snow cover on the ski slopes of Bardonecchia, Italy – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 9 February 2024 Worryingly thin snow cover lower down in Bardonecchia in the Italian Piedmont, though there will be an improvement over the weekend, albeit only temporary – Photo: bardonecchia.it, 9 February 2024

The two areas set to see the most snow from this storm are firstly the far southern French Alps (e.g Isola 2000), stretching just over the border into Italy (e.g. Prato Nevoso) and, secondly, a narrow sector of the central-western Italian Alps including the eastern Monte Rosa (e.g. Alagna), a little further east (Macugnaga) and over the border into the far south of Switzerland (e.g. Bosco Gurin). All these areas should see at least 30cm of new snow above 1800m by Sunday morning, perhaps a bit more, though this is a bit less than had been hoped for just a day or two ago.

 

Elsewhere in the Alps there will also be some snow, but generally in quite modest quantities. Expected snowfall totals between Friday and Sunday (above 1800m) include: 20cm in St Moritz; 15cm in Sestriere, Val d’Isère, Zermatt, Obergurgl and Verbier; 10cm in Avoriaz, Lech and Selva; and 5cm in Kaprun.

The rain snow limit during this storm will start at around 1500-1800m but will drop towards 1000m later in the weekend.

 

Snow conditions will clearly improve in most parts, at least above 1500m or so, but this is not really the game-changing storm hoped for, and snow remains very thin, patchy or non-existent at low altitudes.

 

The most solid bases are to be found at altitude in the northern French Alps (e.g Tignes, Val Thorens), the Arlberg (e.g Lech, St Anton) and in other high Austrian resorts (e.g. Obergurgl, Obertauern). 

Updated: 9.40am Wednesday 7 February 2024 - Taste of winter on its way for most of the Alps…

 

The good news is that temperatures are set to turn a bit colder in the Alps later this week and over the weekend, with some snow in places. However, the snow is sadly not going to be quite as heavy or as widespread as was hoped a few days ago, with some places probably not seeing very much at all.

Panoramic view of the snow-covered ski slopes of Isola 2000 in the southern French Alps – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 7 February 2024 Isola 2000 in the far southern French Alps has not seen much snow this season but should be in the sweet spot for the upcoming storm, with at least 50cm of snow expected between Thursday night and Saturday – Photo: isola2000.com, 7 February 2024

Today will be mostly fine and mild across the Alps, with some long sunny spells. However, cloud will thicken across the far northern Alps later in the day, with a little rain or snow falling overnight close to the foothills of the French (e.g. Avoriaz), Swiss (e.g. Engelberg) and perhaps the far western Austrian Alps (e.g Lech). The rain/snow limit will rise from 1400m to 1800m, with a maximum of 2-5cm of new snow.

 

Any showers in the far northern Alps will die away on Thursday, leaving most areas with a dry day with sunny spells. However, cloud will thicken up in the south-western Alps (e.g. Isola 2000) later, heralding the approach of the next, more significant storm. This storm will continue to influence the weather in the Alps into the weekend, most favouring the south-western Alps.

 

The two areas that should do very well from this storm include the far southern French Alps (e.g.  Isola 2000, Auron) where 50cm or more is quite likely between Thursday night and Saturday afternoon. The second is a portion of the Italian central-western Italian Alps, roughly between Cervinia and Madesimo (including the Monte Rosa region) where 30-50cm is likely.

 

Most of the rest of the Alps will also see some snow but generally in lesser quantities, with typically 10-20cm, with the higher totals falling in the northern Alps (e.g. Avoriaz, Engelberg, Lech, Kaprun) falling later in the weekend.

 

During this storm the rain/snow limit will generally start at around 1500-1800m in the southern Alps overnight on Thursday, before gradually falling towards 1200-1500m on Friday. In the northern Alps it will also start at around 1500-1800m, but on Saturday, before falling towards 1000m on Sunday. 

 

The upcoming snow will be very welcome for those resorts that get it in any significant quantity. However, except in a few lucky resorts in the south-western Alps (e.g. Isola 2000, Monte Rosa), it is unlikely to significantly alter the situation for long. This is due to the serious lack of snow at low altitudes across the Alps, for which big back-to-back storms are needed to radically transform the situation and relay the base – an increasingly tricky task at this time of year when the sun’s strength increases.

 

In terms of how the weather in the Alps will pan out for the big February half term week next week, there remains a lot of uncertainty, with a little more snow possible but not in the really big quantities that are needed right now. 

Updated: 10am Friday 2 February 2024 - Return to winter within sight?

 

The weather in the Alps has been far too warm in recent days. Yesterday a weak front delivered a few centimetres of snow to some higher parts of the northern Alps, mostly in Austria, but it has now been some time since there has been any significant widespread snowfall.

Plenty of snow on the upper half of the mountain in Engelberg, Switzerland, but very little snow lower down – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 2 February 2024 Engelberg sums up the situation in the Alps quite nicely right now with plenty of snow on the upper half of the mountain but precious little lower down – 2 February 2024 – Photo: titlis.ch

Indeed, much of this week has been positively spring-like, with freezing levels above 3000m at times and maximum temperatures reaching the high teens in some of the lower valleys.

 

Snow depths remain healthy at higher altitudes across the northern Alps, including in the high French resorts (e.g. Val d’Isère, La Plagne, Val Thorens), the higher areas of many Swiss resorts (e.g. Verbier, Engelberg, Davos, Laax) and the higher Austrian resorts (e.g. Arlberg, Ischgl, Obergurgl, Obertauern).

 

Lower down, however, natural snow is much more modest or non-existent right across the Alps, including at resort level in the likes of Morzine, Gstaad, Grindelwald and Zell am See. The lower slopes of many southern Alpine resorts are also patchy.

 

In short, there is still plenty of piste-skiing on offer right across the Alps, but the quality is variable. Above 2000m or so the snow is often quite reasonable but lower down it has either been icy or in some cases slushy, especially on slopes exposed to the sun.

 

Looking further ahead, although it will be very mild again over the next few days, the various weather models are fairly consistent in forecasting the introduction of some notably colder and snowier weather just in time for half term. It’s a long way off, but fingers crossed...