Latest snow forecast

Updated: 3.15pm Friday 29 December 2017

The weather in the Alps remains extremely unsettled with a series of storms moving in off the Atlantic over the next few days.

 

The north-western Alps (i.e. the French Alps roughly north of Les 2 Alpes, and the western Swiss Alps roughly west of a line from Zurich to the Italian border) will be most affected by these storms, with some serious snowfall totals at altitude over the next few days, but also some rain lower down.

 

Resorts such as Val d’Isère, Tignes, La Rosière, Chamonix, Verbier and Zermatt all have the potential to see over 2m of snow above 2200m over the next five to seven days.  However, as we mentioned earlier, there will also be some rain the mix, notably on Saturday when it could reach 2000m or higher later in the day.

 

This is especially true in areas more exposed to the mild Atlantic air, such as Megève, La Clusaz, the Portes du Soleil, Villars and Gstaad, to name just a few.

Needless to say, conditions on the roads up to the higher resorts of the north-western Alps (e.g. Val d’Isère) will be very difficult tomorrow. More generally, the growing avalanche danger will also be a concern, with the situation likely to become critical next week.

 

With regards to the rest of the Alps, the further east and south you are over the next few days, the less significant any precipitation will become. The Dolomites, for example, will see little or no rain/snow over the next few days...

Detailed snow forecast:

Austria

Friday night will see some light to moderate snow reach the western Austrian Alps (e.g. St Anton), moving erratically east as the night progresses. The rain/snow limit will mostly be very low but will start to rise in the far west later.

 

Saturday may see some bright spells in the far eastern and southern Austrian Alps (e.g. Obertauern, Nassfeld), especially early on, though it will generally be a cloudy day with outbreaks of rain/snow, heaviest in the Vorarlberg (e.g. Lech). The rain/snow limit will start quite low, and remain low in the more enclosed valleys of the central Austrian Alps, but will rise towards 1600-1900m in the far west later in the day.

 

Sunday will be brighter everywhere with the best of the sunshine in the south and west. It will be very mild, however, with freezing levels close to 3000m. 

Saalfelden, Austria – Weather to ski – Snow forecast, 29 December 2017 Fine weather today in much of Austria. This is Saalfelden – 29 December 2017 – Photo: saalfelden-leogang.com

France

Friday night will see heavy snow set in across most of the French Alps though it will be lighter and patchier in the far south. The rain/snow limit will start low, and remain low in the enclosed valleys (e.g. Tarentaise, Giffre, Chamonix), but will rise to 800-1300m in more exposed areas later.

 

Saturday will see further significant precipitation for the northern two-thirds of the French Alps, with lighter and patchier precipitation in the far south. The rain/snow limit will continue to rise, reaching 2000-2300m in some exposed areas later, but remaining lower in some of the more enclosed valleys. It may become drier later in the day, but not before 40-70cm of snow has fallen above 2200m in the northern Alps (roughly north of Les 2 Alpes), with even more in places.

 

Sunday will be sunnier and exceptionally mild with freezing levels around 3000m. 

Avoriaz, France – Weather to ski – Snow forecast, 29 December 2017 Light snow in Avoriaz this afternoon – 29 December 2017 – Photo: avoriaz.com

Italy

Friday night will see some snow in the western Italian Alps, heaviest in the border regions of the Aosta valley (e.g. Courmayeur, La Thuile) where it will fall to very low levels. Further east there may be a few showers but many areas will stay dry.

 

Saturday will see further precipitation in the west and north-west, again heaviest in the border areas. The further east and south you go the lighter and patchier any precipitation will become, with some places (e.g. the Dolomites) staying mostly dry. The rain/snow limit will slowly rise towards 1800m in the west, or lower in some enclosed valleys.

 

Sunday will be sunnier but very mild with freezing levels around 3000m.

Ritten, Italy – Weather to ski – Snow forecast, 29 December 2017 Blue skies in the Dolomites this afternoon with little if any snow expected over the next few days. This is Ritten – 29 December 2017 – Photo: ritten.com

Switzerland

Friday night will see outbreaks of snow, heaviest in the west. The rain/snow limit will start low (and remain low in most areas) but rise to around 800-1200m in some exposed western resorts later.

 

Saturday will be mostly cloudy with significant snow/rain in many areas, heaviest in the west, lighter and patchier in the far south (i.e. Ticino). The rain/snow limit will rise to 2000-2300m across the northern and western Alps as the day progresses, but will remain lower in some enclosed valleys (e.g. Saas-Fee, Andermatt). By tomorrow evening we can expect 25-50cm above 2200m in some western resorts, such as Zermatt and Verbier.

 

Sunday will be sunnier but exceptionally mild, with freezing levels reaching 3000m. 

Villars, Switzerland – Weather to ski – Snow forecast, 29 December 2017 Cloudy with light snow this afternoon in Villars – 29 December 2017 – Photo: villars.ch

Outlook:

Next week looks like staying very unsettled with further storms rattling in off the Atlantic. This means more heavy snow for some, mostly in the north and west, but also some rain at times lower down. The driest and brightest weather will be in the southern Austrian and eastern Italian Alps (e.g. Dolomites). 

Our next detailed snow forecast will be on Tuesday 2 December 2017, but see Today in the Alps for daily updates