Latest snow forecast
Updated: 12.30pm Friday 4 November 2016
Welcome to our first detailed snow forecast of the season for the Alps.
Regular followers of weathertoski.co will know that for some time now we have been looking towards the first widespread and significant snowfall of the season, which is still very much on course to hit the Alps this weekend.
Not everywhere will see huge quantities of snow, but most regions will at least see a moderate fall at altitude, with a few lucky spots seeing as much as 75cm+ over the next few days.
According to the latest weather models, the areas likely to see the most snow will be close to the main Alpine ridge in Austria (e.g. Mallinz, Heiligenblut), the far south-east of Switzerland (e.g. St Moritz) stretching across the border into eastern Lombardy (e.g. Livigno) and Trentino (e.g. Passo Tonale), as well as the northern end of the southern French Alps (e.g. Les 2 Alpes). However, as this is a complex storm, a small shift in direction one way or another is likely to have an effect on the final detail.
As things stand, the area likely to see the least snow (relative to height) is the far south-western Italian Alps (e.g. Sestriere).
On Saturday, the heaviest precipitation will be in the western Alps but with a rain/snow limit initially around 2400m (lower in western Italy), which will lower to between 1500m and 2000m late in the day. The eastern half of the Alps (especially Austria) will escape the worst of the storm until Saturday night/Sunday.
By Sunday, the heaviest snow will be in the eastern Alps, while it starts to turn more showery further west. With increasingly cold air digging in from the north, the rain/snow limit will descend to below 1000m in most parts by Sunday afternoon with only the far south-eastern Alps clinging on to milder air for much of the day.
Detailed snow forecast:
Saturday will be mostly dry for most regions. However, cloud will thicken in the south and south-west with showers (snow 2000m) likely later in the day close to the Italian border and in the far west. The best of any sunshine will be on the northern side of the Alps where the Foehn will be blowing. It will still be mild with freezing levels between 2300 and 2800m.
On Saturday night showers will become more generalised, reaching all areas by Sunday morning.
Sunday will be very wet with heavy snow in many areas, initially only above 2000m in the far south (Carinthia) but falling rapidly to between 500m and 1000m across most of the Austrian Alps by the end of the day.
On Monday all areas can expect showers - with a rain/snow limit between 400m and 800m – these becoming lighter and less frequent later.
Saturday will rapidly become wet in all areas with a rain/snow limit initially above 2400m in the north (a bit lower further south), but lowering to 1500-2000m later in the day.
It will continue to rain or snow on Saturday night but, with colder air arriving from the north, the snow-line should descend to 1000-1500m by morning.
The precipitation will turn more showery on Sunday, with the most frequent showers in the northern Alps. The rain/snow limit will continue to lower, reaching 500m in places later.
Monday will see further flurries, mostly in the northern French Alps, with a rain/snow limit around 500-800m.
Saturday will be mostly cloudy with showers, these heaviest in the far north-west (e.g. Courmayeur) as well as the more central Italian Alps (e.g. Livigno) later in the day. The rain/snow limit will vary between 1400m in the far north-west and 2000m or higher in the eastern Italian Alps.
Sunday will see the heaviest of the precipitation across the central and eastern Italian Alps (snow initially to 2000m then dropping rapidly later) with only a few light flurries (1200-1400m) further west.
Monday will see variable cloud and occasional flurries, especially close to the high border areas (snow 700-1200m) with the best of any sunshine in the south-western Italian Alps.
Saturday will start mostly dry with some bright spells in the eastern Swiss Alps. However, rain and snow will quickly reach the west and spread to all areas by evening. The snow-line will start around 2200m in the west (a bit lower in the south-east), lowering to around 1200-1600m later.
Saturday night will be very wet with a rain/snow limit descending to 1000m by morning in the north and west but remaining a bit higher for a time in the south-east.
Sunday will see plenty more showers, with a rain/snow limit lowering to between 600m and 900m in the north-and west. In the south-east (Engadin) it will start around 1600-1900m before lowering here too later in the day.
Monday will see further showers (snow to 400-700m) mostly in the northern half of the Swiss Alps with the best of any brightness further south.
It will remain cold for most of the week with further snow in places, mostly light in nature but with some heavier falls possible again in the west later in the week. Most regions will also enjoy some brighter interludes, especially mid-week.
Next detailed snow forecast will be on Tuesday 8 November 2016, but see Today in the Alps for daily updates