Today in the Alps...

Updated: 11am Sunday 22 October 2017 - Temporary taste of winter

 

As predicted, snow is falling across some parts of the Alps today, mostly in the north. This wintry spell will continue until Tuesday, by which point high pressure will start to reassert its influence from the west. 

Saalbach, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 22 October 2017 Fresh snow this morning above Saalbach-Hinterglemm in Austria – 22 October 2017 - Photo: saalbach.com

By Tuesday we can expect somewhere between 10cm and 30 cm of new snow to have fallen above 2000m across quite a wide swathe of the northern Alps, with 50cm or more locally. The rain/snow limit will be between 1000m and 1600m which means a temporary dusting to relatively low levels too.

 

But while this is great news for the glaciers, don’t get too excited for the Alps as a whole as rising temperatures will melt most of any lower lying snow by the end of next week.

 

We will bring you more details on how much snow has fallen and what’s open on Monday morning.

Snow reports and forecasts will return in November 2017

Who got the most snow in the Alps in 2016-17?

The 2016-17 Alpine ski season was a poor one overall, but did any resorts buck the trend?

 

Read our full review of the 2016-17 ski season and find out who got the most snow in the Alps

Who got the most snow in North America in 2016-17?

Unlike the Alps, the 2016-17 North American ski season was an excellent one overall...

 

Read our full review of the 2016-17 ski season and find out who got the most snow in North America

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Updated: 9.20am Friday 20 October 2017 - Significant snow in the forecast - but…

 

There is some significant snow on its way for parts of the Alps this weekend, especially on Sunday and in the North and East. But don’t get too excited - sunny and increasingly warm weather will return by the early/middle part of next week sending the snow-line scurrying back up the mountain. 

Bergfex chart showing predicted snowfall between Friday 20 and Tuesday 24 October 2017 – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 20 October 2017 Predicted snowfall between now and Tuesday 24 October 2017 – Image: bergfex.com

After a largely fine day today the weather will deteriorate on Saturday with showers across the northern Alps and a rain/snow limit descending to between 2000m and 2500m later in the day.

 

Sunday and Monday will see further precipitation, mostly across the northern half of the Alps, with the snow-line descending to somewhere between 1000m and 1600m. Tuesday will see the last of the showers and flurries die away from the eastern Austrian Alps to leave most areas fine and increasingly mild again.

 

Between Saturday and Tuesday we could see 50cm of more snow new snow above 2000m in some northern parts of the Alps, more generally 10-40cm.

 

What do we mean by the northern Alps? This would encompass the French Alps roughly north of Grenoble, most of the Swiss Alps except the far south (Ticino), and most of the Austrian Alps except for Carinthia and parts of the Osttirol. The Italian Alps are generally considered to be in the “south”, though some border areas could still see some significant precipitation in these circumstances.

 

As mentioned earlier, any low-lying snow will quickly melt again next week but at high altitude it could stick around for a while and this will be a welcome top up, for the glaciers at least. 

Updated: 9.15am Wednesday 18 October 2017 - Still warm, some snow in places this weekend

 

The weather in the Alps continues to be mostly sunny and very mild. It will turn temporarily cooler and more unsettled over the weekend (with some snow in places) before southerly winds bring the warm air back next week. 

Tignes, France – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 18 October 2017 Pistes looking a little worn on the Grande Motte glacier above Tignes where a modest top-up of snow is possible on Sunday – 18 October 2017 – Photo: tignes.net

Good skiing is still possible on the glaciers, especially in Austria where you can ski at Hintertux, Stubai, Sölden, Mölltal, Pitztal, Kaunertal, Kitzsteinhorn and Dachstein. You can also ski in non-glacial Kitzbühel on a strip of “artificial” snow, specially preserved from last winter.

 

 In France the only option is Tignes. In Switzerland you can ski on the glaciers above Zermatt, Saas-Fee and Engelberg and in Italy you can ski at Val Senales, Passo Stelvio and Cervinia, the latter opening at weekends only until 28 October, when it starts to open daily.

Updated: 12.10pm Monday 16 October 2017 - Still warm in the Alps

 

The weather in the Alps remains warm, with temperatures well into the 20°Cs again in many of the lower lying valleys.

Zell-am-See, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 16 October 2017 Magnificent weather in the Alps today. This is Zell-am-See with the Kitzsteinhorn glacier (Kaprun) in the background – 16 October 2017 – Photo: zellamsee-kaprun.com

Needless to say, any of the lower lying snow from recent storms has long melted, but good skiing is still possible on the glaciers - especially in Austria, where you can ski at Hintertux, Stubai, Sölden, Mölltal, Pitztal, Kaunertal, Kitzsteinhorn and Dachstein. You can also ski in non-glacial Kitzbühel on a strip of “artificial” snow specially preserved from last winter.

 

In France the only option is Tignes. In Switzerland you can ski on the glaciers above Zermatt, Saas-Fee and Engelberg and in Italy you can ski at Val Senales, Passo Stelvio and Cervinia, the latter opening at weekends only until 28 October, when it starts to open daily.

 

The weather in the Alps will turn a bit more unsettled later in the week and over the weekend, with a little high altitude snow in places, though probably nothing too significant at this stage.

Updated: 10.15am Sunday 15 October 2017 - Indian summer

 

There is some beautiful weather in the Alps right now – but it is very warm, which means that most of the lower lying snow from the recent storms has long melted. 

Kitzbühel, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 15 October 2017 Skiing started this weekend in non-glacial Kitzbühel thanks to snow specially preserved from last season – 15 October 2017 – Photo: kitzski.at

Temperatures will be into the low 20°Cs in many of the lower valleys over the next couple of days. However, it will cooler and more unsettled later in the week with the prospect of some more high altitude snow in places. There may be some more significant and widespread snow by next Sunday but that’s a long way off, so watch this space.

 

In the meantime, there is still some good glacier skiing to be had in the Alps, especially in Austria where all eight glaciers are open for business. You can also now ski in non-glacial Kitzbühel thanks to the somewhat gimmicky annual October opening of the Resterhöhe area, on snow specially preserved from the previous winter.

 

In France the only option right now is Tignes. In Switzerland you can ski on the glaciers above Zermatt, Saas-Fee and Engelberg. In Italy you can ski at Val Senales, Passo Stelvio and Cervinia, though the latter is currently only open at weekends, but will start to open daily on 28 October. 

Updated: 9.35am Thursday 12 October 2017 - Les 2 Alpes cancels autumn half-term opening

 

Les 2 Alpes has taken the decision to cancel its traditional Autumn half-term opening due to poor snow conditions on the glacier.

Les 2 Alpes, France – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 12 October 2017 Les 2 Alpes will not open this Autumn half-term as planned – 12 October 2017 – Photo: les2alpes.com

As regular readers of weathertoski will know, it was an exceptionally hot and dry summer in the Alps. Although there has been snow this Autumn, most of it has fallen in the east (i.e. Austria), with only lighter, more sporadic falls further west (e.g. Zermatt, Tignes, Les 2 Alpes).

 

All in all, Les 2 Alpes has concluded that there is still insufficient snow to offer decent snow conditions this half term – no doubt they will also have noticed that it is forecast to remain warm and sunny for the next week at least.

 

In France, the only option for the next few weeks will therefore be Tignes. In Italy, you can currently ski on the glaciers at Val Senales and Passo Stelvio, with Cervinia set to join them (at weekends only) this weekend and next, before opening daily from 28 October. In Switzerland you can ski in Zermatt, Saas-Fee and Engelberg.

 

However, the best snow conditions are in Austria where all the glaciers are open – Dachstein, Kitzsteinhorn, Stubai, Sölden, Hintertux, Pitztal, Kaunertal and Mölltal. Of these, Hintertux currently offers the greatest extent of skiing, with 35km of pistes served by 14 lifts.

Updated: 9.20am Wednesday 11 October 2017 - Austria continues to offer the best snow conditions in the Alps

 

Engelberg opens its Titlis glacier for skiing today, joining Zermatt and Saas-Fee as Switzerland’s third option during this pre-season period. The weather will be sunny and mild at altitude in the Alps today, as it will be (give or take) for the next few days. 

Hintertux glacier, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 11 October 2017 Excellent snow conditions on the Hintertux glacier in Austria right now – 11 October 2017 – Photo: facebook.com/Hintertux.Glacier

In Italy you can currently ski on the glaciers at Val Senales and Passo Stelvio, with Cervinia set to join them (at weekends only) this weekend and next before opening daily from 28 October.

 

In France you can ski on the glacier above Tignes, with Les 2 Alpes the next to open (for half term only) from 23 October to 1 November. The best snow conditions, however, are in Austria where all the glaciers are open – Dachstein, Kitzsteinhorn, Stubai, Sölden, Hintertux, Pitztal, Kaunertal and Mölltal. Of these Hintertux currently offers the greatest extent of skiing, with 35km of pistes served by 14 lifts.

Updated: 12.30pm Tuesday 10 October 2017 - Turning warm

 

High pressure will dominate the weather in the Alps this week. Yes, the occasional weak weather front will try to invade from the north, but it won’t amount to more than a little cloud, with just about everywhere staying dry, bright and increasingly warm.

Titlis glacier, Engelberg, Switzerland – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 10 October 2017 View from Engelberg’s Titlis glacier, which opens for skiing tomorrow (Wednesday) – Photo: titlis.ch

Indeed, temperatures could rise into the low 20°Cs in some of the lower valleys as the week goes on, which will quickly melt any low-lying snow. On the glaciers, however, there is still some good skiing to be found, especially in Austria where most of the recent snow has fallen.

 

One resort to have also seen significant snow is Switzerland’s Engelberg, which will open its Titlis glacier for the first time this season tomorrow.