Latest snow forecast

Updated: 3.30pm Friday 23 December 2016

High pressure is still dominating the weather in the Alps. It will retract far enough westwards to allow some weak fronts to clip the north-eastern Alps (especially Austria) over the next few days, but for most of the Alps we will now have to wait until the New Year before there is any chance of widespread significant snow.

 

Today’s charts give a tantalising glimpse of a proper return to winter on or around 2 January 2017. However, this is far too far out to be certain yet and is something we will be monitoring closely over the next few days…

Detailed forecast:

Austria

Saturday (Christmas Eve) will start mostly dry, but thickening cloud will bring a few showers to the northern half of the Austrian Alps later in the day, with a rain/snow limit close to 1400m in the far west (e.g. St Anton) and 800m in the east (e.g. Obertauern). Any accumulations of snow are expected to be extremely modest – a few cm at best. The best of any sunshine will be in the far south.

 

Sunday (Christmas Day) will remain cloudy with further showers in the northern Austrian Alps where the snow line could rise to 1700m in the west (lower further east). Accumulations are again expected to be very modest, but 10-15cm (locally even more) is possible in some eastern parts of the Austrian Alps.

 

Monday (Boxing Day) will be mostly fine and very mild, but cloud will again thicken in the north later in the day with some precipitation expected by evening or overnight (rain/snow limit 1400-1600m but dropping). 

Lech, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 23 December 2016 More snow urgently needed in Lech – 23 December 2016 – Photo: lech.com

France

Saturday (Christmas Eve) will be dry with plenty of sunshine, especially in the south. However, cloud will thicken in some northern parts of the French Alps later in the day. It will be quite mild with freezing levels typically around 2200m in the north, up to 3000m in the south.

 

Sunday (Christmas Day) will again be dry with variable cloud and some sunny spells. It will be milder still with freezing levels surpassing 3000m in the south.

 

Monday (Boxing Day) will again be dry with variable cloud cover and some sunny spells. It will be very mild at first, turning noticeably colder at altitude in the north later. 

St Jean de Montcar, France – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 23 December 2016 Clear skies in the southern French Alps today. This is St Jean de Montclar – 23 December 2016 – Photo: montclar.com

Italy

Saturday (Christmas Eve) will be dry with plenty of sunshine and just a little cloud close to the border areas, especially later in the day. Freezing levels will be close to 2000m.

 

Sunday (Christmas Day) will be similar to Sunday, with variable cloud (thickest close to the border areas). It will turn milder, however, with freezing levels closer to 3000m.

 

Monday (Boxing Day) will be mostly sunny and very mild at first, but turning colder later in the day. 

Monterosa Ski, Italy – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 23 December 2016 Clear skies and great snow at altitude in the Monte Rosa Region – 23 December 2016 – Photo: monterosa-ski.com

Switzerland

Saturday (Christmas Eve) will be mostly dry but cloud will thicken in the northern Alps to bring a few spots of rain (snow 1400-1600m) close to the northern foothills later. The best of any sunshine will be in the far south.

 

Sunday (Christmas Day) will see variable cloud, thickest in the east where a few spots of rain (snow 1600-2000m) are possible at times.

 

Monday (Boxing Day) should be mostly dry with sunny spells and a tendency for cloud to increase again in the north later. It will remain mild, especially at first, but will turn noticeably colder at altitude in the north later. 

Les Crosets, Switzerland – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 23 December 2016 Patchy snow cover in the Portes du Soleil. This is Les Crosets – 23 December 2016 – Photo: telechampery.ch

Outlook:

Tuesday may see some early rain or snow in the eastern Alps (moderate snow possible at altitude east of Innsbruck) otherwise most regions will be dry.

 

Any rain/snow will die out from the eastern Austrian Alps on Wednesday to leave most areas with a dry fine day. This fine weather is then likely to last until the New Year. 

Next detailed snow forecast will be on Tuesday 27 December 2016, but see Today in the Alps for daily updates