Today in the Alps - February 2019
Updated: 11am Wednesday 13 February 2019 - Lots of sunshine…
Some cloud is still hanging on to the eastern Austrian Alps this morning, but it should dissipate later. Elsewhere in the Alps the weather is gloriously sunny today, at least above any low level cloud/fog patches that are mainly close to the foothills. It will feel pleasantly mild in any sunshine, especially in the western Alps where freezing levels will reach 2500m in places.
Over the next few days it will be mostly sunny in the Alps. It will also feel increasingly warm, especially at altitude and on slopes exposed to the sun. However, because humidity will be low, plus the fact that the sun is still not too strong in mid-February, the quality of the snow should remain good. Only on lower south- and west-facing slopes might you notice a little slush later in the day.
In a slight change to the recent weather models, it now looks like there might be a little snow for some western parts of the Alps early next week (perhaps on Monday night/Tuesday) but there is still lots of uncertainty over the timing and significance of this new turn of events. In any case, it will probably be a transitory feature and, generally speaking, we can still expect a lot of fine weather across the Alps next week.
Updated: 10.40am Tuesday 12 February 2019 - The weather in the Alps is settling down…
Some snow flurries will linger today across the northern and eastern Austrian Alps (e.g. Salzburgland, Styria), otherwise most areas will be dry with plenty of sunshine.
The Alps are now entering an extended period of dry and settled weather that will last into the first part (and possibly all) of the busy half term week. This is great news for families who, for the most part, would probably choose stable and sunny weather over new snow but more unsettled conditions.
Right now though there is plenty of new snow, at least across the northern Alps, with as much as 60cm in some parts of Switzerland and western Austria (e.g. the Vorarlberg). Be aware of the high avalanche risk here though, which has been made particularly complicated by the high winds over the last couple of days.
All in all, things are looking very good as we approach the busiest part of the season. Snow depths are generally above average in the northern Alps, considerably so across much of Switzerland and Austria. In the southern Alps snow depths are generally more “normal”, if a little below average in places but, even here, snow conditions are generally very favourable, at least on-piste.
Updated: 9am Monday 11 February 2019 - Lots of fresh snow across the northern Alps…
As expected, there is lots of fresh snow across the northern Alps this morning, with 25cm in Avoriaz, 35cm in Lech and 40cm+ in some parts of the Jungfrau region (Grindelwald, Wengen, Mürren). However, note that the snow is very windblown and the off-piste in these northern regions is again hazardous.
Yesterday the rain/snow limit started quite high – above 1500m in places – but it has now turned colder, with any snow falling to very low levels. Further snow showers will continue to affect the northern Alps today, heaviest in Switzerland and Austria where an additional 10-30cm is possible, but becoming lighter in France. The southern Alps will see plenty of dry bright weather with fewer flurries. It will remain windy though, which may (as it did yesterday) hamper lift operations in places.
On Tuesday the last of the snow showers will die away from Austria, leaving the rest of the week dry, fine and increasingly mild. This settled weather is expected to last well into the main half term week, which is good news for the majority of holiday-makers.
Indeed, wherever you are skiing in the Alps (or the Pyrenees) this half-term, it looks like snow conditions will be pretty good, at least on-piste.
Updated: 12.15pm Sunday 10 February 2019 - Stormy!
A new and quite potent storm has reach the Alps today which will continue to influence the weather until Tuesday. Today’s main concern is the wind which will be particularly strong and gusty in the northern and north-eastern Alps. Expect some lift closures both today and tomorrow, especially at altitude and in exposed locations.
This storm will also bring some significant snow to the northern Alps. This afternoon it is already snowing in parts of the northern French and western Swiss Alps, but only above 1400-1800m. Later in the day the precipitation will become more organised and move further east, reaching Austria tonight. The rain/snow limit will also lower to reach 400-700m by Monday morning.
Monday will also be windy but, as the wind will be coming from a more north-westerly direction, it will be much colder. There will be further snow showers to low levels across the northern Alps, heaviest in Switzerland and Austria, and becoming lighter in France. On Tuesday, some snow flurries will linger across Austria, especially in the east, but other northern parts of the Alps will become drier and brighter.
Between now and Tuesday we are looking at expected snowfall totals of roughly 20-50cm above 1500m in the northern Alps, with a little more in places. By the northern Alps we roughly mean the French Alps north of Alpe d’Huez/Les 2 Alpes, the Swiss Alps (with the exception of Ticino), and the Austrian Alps (with the exception of Osttirol and Carinthia).
Over the next couple of days bits and pieces of snow will also get through to the southern Alps, especially near to the northern border areas but, on the whole, any snowfall will be much less significant here and some places will even stay dry.
Looking a bit further ahead, the weather looks like it will settle down again for the second half of next week, with lots of sunshine at altitude probably lasting well into the main half term week.
Updated: 9am Saturday 9 February 2019 - Significant snow for the northern Alps later on Sunday and Monday…
A weak cold front is affecting the north-western Alps this morning, bringing a dusting of snow above 1000-1400m in places (e.g. Avoriaz). Elsewhere in the Alps it is mostly dry, with the best of any sunshine in the south. Other parts of the Alps should also brighten up as the day goes on.
Later tomorrow a more active storm will reach the Alps, which will deliver significant quantities snow to the northern Alps on Sunday evening/night and into Monday. The snow will clear the north-eastern Alps (i.e. Austria) on Tuesday leaving most of the Alps with a fine and settled second half to next week.
The rain/snow limit will start close to 1500m tomorrow but will lower on Sunday night, with snow falling at all skiing levels by Monday morning. Snowfall totals across the northern half of the Alps will typically be between 20-50cm, with a bit more in some favoured spots.
Bits and pieces of snow may get through to parts of the southern Alps but, on the whole, the southern Alps will see far less precipitation, with some places staying dry altogether.
Updated: 11am Friday 8 February 2019 – Great snow conditions again in the Alps…
A little snow fell across the northern Alps last night, generally just 2-5cm but as much 10-15cm in one or two favoured spots such as in the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland. Today the sun is back but areas of high cloud may turn it hazy at times.
On Saturday many places will be dry, but it will be cloudier in the northern and especially north-western Alps, with a little rain/snow (1200m) in the northern French and western Swiss Alps.
The next major storm will arrive later on Sunday and will continue to influence the weather in the Alps until Tuesday. This storm won’t deliver as much snow as once hoped to the southern Alps, but it will bring significant quantities of snow to the northern half of the Alps, especially the northern French, Swiss and western Austrian Alps.
For more details check out our latest snow forecast out later today…
Updated: 11.20am Thursday 7 February 2019 - A little snow for the north-western Alps…
A weak cold front will bring a little snow to the northern and especially north-western Alps today but it won’t amount to very much, and most of the Alps will stay dry.
Later today and overnight, the areas that might catch a little snow (5-10 cm at best) include the northern French Alps (e.g. Avoriaz), the northern and western Swiss Alps (e.g. Wengen) and the western Austrian Alps (e.g. Lech). The snow limit will start at around 1000-1500m, and will tend to lower to under 1000m later.
The next significant snow will fall late on Sunday, and on Monday and Tuesday across most of the Alps before high pressure (and therefore more settled conditions) return to the Alps for the latter half of next week.
For more detail on snow conditions in the Alps, check out our detailed snow report out later today.
Updated: 9.15am Wednesday 6 February 2019 – Sunny today, cloudier in northern Alps tomorrow…
It’s another lovely day in the Alps, at least above any bits and pieces of valley fog/low cloud. It will also feel pleasantly mild, especially on south- and west-facing slopes this afternoon.
On Thursday a weak cold front will bring more in the way of cloud to the northern Alps with a light dusting here and there later in the day (first above 1500m, lower later). The next major snowfall will be later on Sunday and on Monday, with significant accumulations expected across many parts of the Alps.
In the meantime, there is lots of good skiing right across the Alps, with base depths generally above average, and often considerably so. There is also still some good powder to be found, especially at altitude, but a good guide and/or local knowledge is increasingly necessary in order to find it, as most of the obvious lines have long been tracked out.
Updated: 10.40am Tuesday 5 February 2019 - Lots of sun, turning milder…
The weather in Alps is magnificent right now, with lots of sunshine and pleasant (though not excessively mild) daytime temperatures. With deep snow cover in most areas, this is an excellent time to be skiing in the Alps!
This fine weather will continue tomorrow, but weak weather fronts will then flirt with the northern Alps on Thursday bringing a dusting of snow here and there – first above 1400m, then to lower levels later. Significant precipitation is not expected though, and the southern side of the Alps should stay dry.
Friday and Saturday should be mostly fine again, but we are expecting some more active weather fronts to reach the Alps later on Sunday and on Monday, with the potential for significant snowfall in many areas. Watch this space…
In the meantime, snow conditions in the Alps are excellent both on and off-piste right now– although you will increasingly need good local knowledge or a guide to find untracked powder.
Updated: 9.40am Monday 4 February 2019 - Fantastic snow conditions across the Alps…
A lot of snow has fallen across the Alps over the last few days. The western and southern Alps (especially France and Italy) were first to see significant snowfall, before the heaviest snow transferred across to the northern Alps (especially Switzerland and Austria) yesterday.
Snow conditions in the Alps are truly exceptional now, with no weak links in sight. The weather has also improved, and it will stay mostly fine over the next few days, meaning that anyone skiing in the Alps this week is in for a real treat.
All this snow is also excellent news for half-term holidaymakers, who are now guaranteed good snow cover at all altitudes and in all Alpine locations.
Updated: 11.50am Saturday 2 February 2019 - Huge quantities of new snow in the southern and western Alps…
In the last 24 hours, massive quantities of snow have fallen across the western and southern Alps, including the French and Italian Alps, some western and southern parts of the Swiss Alps (e.g. Portes du Soleil, St Moritz) and the far south of Austria (e.g Nassfeld).
These regions have seen between 30cm and 80cm of new snow in the last 36 hours alone, with close to a 1m even in some areas in the central and eastern Italian Alps such as Passo Tonale and certain parts of the Dolomites (e.g. Arabba).
With a bit of a weather window this morning, snow conditions have therefore been absolutely amazing, especially in France where the sun was out, for a while a least. However, with the risk of avalanche sky high (5/5) in places, the off-piste was (and still is) exceptionally dangerous.
This afternoon, flurries are continuing in the south-eastern Alps (e.g. Dolomites) and the weather is clouding over again in the western Alps, with further snow expected to hit France soon, spreading further east across the Alps tonight. Further snow is expected in places on Sunday, with the heaviest snow shifting towards the northern Alps (e.g. Mürren, Engelberg, St Anton, Kaprun) before the weather starts to settle down early next week.
So, as we approach the busiest part of the ski season, the snow situation in the Alps has become very good indeed, with hardly a weak link left anywhere.
Updated: 9.40am Friday 1 February 2019 - Dumping in the western and southern Alps!
It’s snowing across the western and southern Alps this morning, especially in France, Italy and parts of southern and western Switzerland. By contrast, protected by the Foehn, the north-eastern Alps are mostly dry, if rather cloudy (e.g. Salzburgland).
The biggest snowfall totals today will be close to the Écrins in France (e.g. Les 2 Alpes), the far south-east of Switzerland (including and south of St Moritz), and the central and eastern Italian Alps (e.g. Passo Tonale, Madonna di Campiglio). These areas should 40-70cm by tomorrow morning, and possibly as much as 1m in some favoured locations.
The weather will continue to be unsettled over the weekend, with further snowfall in many places, first favouring the south-east (e.g. Dolomites) then the northern Alps (e.g. Avoriaz, Engelberg, St Anton) again later.
The weather should start to improve early next week, by which time just about all parts of the Alps should be in fabulous shape. Note, however, that the risk of avalanche over the next few days will be high or even very high.