Latest snow forecast
Updated: 12.30pm Wednesday 16 March 2016
The weather in the Alps is unsettled right now, though any serious snowfall will be confined to the Italian Piedmont region and some adjacent border areas with France and Switzerland.
Today’s snow is the product of cold continental air from the north-east colliding with moist Mediterranean air from the south. Many Piedmont resorts (e.g. Sestriere, Alagna) can expect somewhere between 20cm and 50cm of snow by Thursday morning, but there is the potential for 1m or more to fall in a few favoured locations, such as Prato Nevoso in the far south.
The snow is also likely to spill over the border into some parts of France (notably the Queyras region) and, perhaps, into parts of southern Switzerland (e.g. Zermatt, Saas-Fee). However, other parts of the Alps will see little or no new snow for the rest of this week.
On Friday and over the weekend, the weather in the Alps will have settled down again, with lots of sunshine across the board...
Wednesday may see a few flurries in the far south-east of Austria, but most places will be dry with sunny spells, the best of which will be further north. Freezing levels will be between 1200m and 1700m.
Thursday and Friday will be glorious, with further long spells of sunshine and freezing levels creeping up towards 2000m.
Wednesday will be rather cloudy and cold in France. Most places will stay dry, but there will be a few flurries here and there, with some heavier snow (400-600m) possible close to the border with the Italian Piedmont (e.g. Queyras).
Thursday will see early snow showers in the south, especially close to Italy, though these will die away later. Elsewhere there will be variable cloud, but some sunny spells, with freezing levels lifting to between 1400m and 1800m.
Friday will be mostly sunny and a touch warmer still.
Wednesday will be mostly cloudy with snow (400-600m) in the western Italian Alps, heavy at times in the Piedmont (e.g. Alagna, Prato Nevoso), but patchier in the Aosta region (e.g. La Thuile). Some parts of Lombardy will also see some flurries, but the eastern Italian Alps (Dolomites) will be mostly dry with variable cloud.
Thursday will see some early snow showers (600m) in the Piedmont region, but these should die out with sunny spells developing. Elsewhere it should be a mostly fine day, with the best of the sunshine in the central and eastern Italian Alps.
Friday will be mostly sunny with freezing levels between 1400m and 1800m.
Wednesday will be mostly dry with variable cloud. However, some snow will affect the far south at times, notably the Simplon area. The best of any sunshine will be in the north-east.
Thursday will see some residual clouds in the far south, but these should break up and most places will be sunny with freezing levels creeping up towards 1500-1800m.
Friday will also be sunny and a little warmer still.
The weather in the Alps looks set to remain fine over the weekend, with plenty of sunshine and freezing levels creeping up towards 2000m.
Next detailed snow forecast will be on Friday 18 March 2016, but see Today in the Alps for daily updates