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Today in the Alps - November 2020

 

Read about current weather and snow conditions in the Alps

Updated: 10am Friday 20 November 2020 – Another brief taste of winter in the Alps…

 

As forecast, many parts of the Alps have woken up to some fresh snow this morning, although quantities have been modest. Most of the snow has fallen in the northern half of the Alps, with 15cm for example at high altitude in Engelberg, but a sprinkling has also got through to some southern parts of the Alps, notably the south-east (i.e. the Dolomites). 

Lech, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 20 November 2020 A few centimetres of fresh snow in Lech this morning – 20 November 2020 – Photo: lech.com

Some flurries (600-900m) are lingering across the northern Austrian Alps this morning but will die out later in the day. Elsewhere in the Alps, any cloud should break up with most areas expected to see plenty of sunshine.

 

The weather will remain mostly dry with sunny spells and increasingly mild temperatures over the weekend and into the first half of next week. It is then expected to turn more unsettled later next week with the chance of some snow in places, at this stage most likely in the southern and western Alps. There is still lots of uncertainty over the detail in the medium-term forecasts though, so do stay tuned for further updates.

Val Gardena, Italy – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 20 November 2020 A dusting of new snow in Val Gardena this morning – 20 November 2020 – Photo: foto-webcam.eu

The recent snow has made some parts of the Alps look a bit more wintry today, but don’t be fooled - few ski areas have any base to speak of below glacier level. One exception to this is Ischgl, where a combination of some natural snow and industrial scale man-made snow would have allowed the upper part of its ski area to open next week had it not been for Covid-19 related restrictions.

 

On the whole though, much more snow is needed before most resorts can start to feel confident that any solid early foundations are being laid. 

 

Right now, the only Alpine country offering skiing (to the public at least) is Switzerland, where half a dozen or so resorts are open or partially open. This number will increase over the weekend, but Zermatt and Saas-Fee remain the best options in terms of both variety and extent of terrain. 

Updated: 10am Thursday 19 November 2020 - A little snow for the northern Alps later today and tonight…

 

A new but relatively weak cold front has reached the Alps, bringing a little snow in places later today and overnight, chiefly across the north.

Warth-Schröcken, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 19 November 2020 Skies are clouding over in the Vorarlberg this morning with rain expected later, turning to snow this evening. This is the Warth-Schröcken ski area – 19 November 2020 – Photo: foto-webcam.eu

The rain/snow limit will start at or above 2000m before falling to between 500m and 900m by tomorrow morning. Snowfall totals from this new storm will be modest, generally with 2-10cm above 2000m across the northern Alps (e.g. Engelberg, Lech, Kaprun), and a little more in some favoured spots. The southern Alps will largely miss out, with some places remaining completely dry.

 

Flurries (600-900m) will linger across the eastern Alps for a time tomorrow before high pressure reasserts itself, keeping the weather in the Alps dry, mostly fine and increasingly mild again over the weekend and into the first part of next week. From the middle of next week, the weather is likely to turn more unsettled again with the chance of some rain or snow in places, but it is hard to pin down any real detail at this stage.

 

Last weekend, 11 Swiss ski resorts were offering some skiing, these being Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Verbier, Glacier 3000, Crans Montana, Engelberg, Davos-Klosters, Laax, Arosa, Andermatt and the Diavolezza glacier (near St Moritz). Today just four resorts are open (Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Engelberg, and Glacier 3000). Of these, Zermatt and Saas-Fee remain the best bet in terms of both extent and variety of open terrain.

 

No other Alpine countries are currently offering skiing to the public due to Covid-19 related restrictions.

 

Snow conditions on the glaciers remain pretty good but there is no base to speak of lower down, nor will the current storm be enough to drastically alter the overall situation. For most resorts this is not of any great concern yet, particularly as many have already postponed their openings until mid-December for Covid-related reasons.

 

Zermatt, however, had hoped to open non-glacial Gornergrat and Sunnega on 28 November, but has now had to postpone this until 5 December due to both a lack of natural snow and the fact that it has also been too warm to make a sufficient quantity of the artificial variety. 

Updated: 10am Monday 18 November 2020 - Warm today, but much colder with a little snow for some tomorrow…

 

Today will be mostly fine and exceptionally mild in the Alps, with freezing levels close to 4000m. Tomorrow, a cold front will bring a big drop in temperature and a little snow for some, chiefly across the northern Alps.

Corvatsch, St Moritz, Switzerland – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 18 November 2020 View from Corvatsch (near St Moritz) today, looking towards the Corviglia ski area (back right) – 18 November 2020 - Photo: corvatsch.ch

The bad weather will reach the north-western foothills of the Alps during Thursday morning, spreading further south and east over the course of the day. That said, the bulk of any precipitation will fall across the northern half of the Alps, with some southern Alpine areas staying completely dry. The rain/snow limit will start at around 2000m before falling to between 1000m and 1600m later in the day, lowest in the north.

 

By Friday morning the weather will have improved across most parts of the Alps, but some flurries will linger in the north-east (i.e. Austria) for a time with a rain/snow limit between 600m and 900m.

 

Snowfall totals from this new storm will be modest, generally with 2-10cm above 2000m, and a little more in some favoured spots.

 

Last weekend, 11 Swiss ski resorts were offering some skiing, these being Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Verbier, Glacier 3000, Crans Montana, Engelberg, Davos-Klosters, Laax, Arosa, Andermatt and the Diavolezza glacier (near St Moritz). Today just five resorts are open (Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Engelberg, the Diavolezza Glacier and Glacier 3000). Of these, Zermatt and Saas-Fee remain the best bet in terms of both extent and variety of open terrain.

 

No other Alpine countries are currently offering skiing to the public due to Covid-19 related restrictions.

 

Snow conditions on the glaciers remain pretty good but there is no base to speak of lower down, nor will tomorrow’s storm be potent enough to drastically alter the overall situation. For most resorts this is not of any great concern yet, particularly as many have already postponed their openings until mid-December for Covid-related reasons.

 

 Zermatt, however, had hoped to open non-glacial Gornergrat and Sunnega on 28 November, but has now had to postpone this until 5 December due to both a lack of natural snow and the fact that it has also been too warm to make a sufficient quantity of the artificial variety. 

Updated: 5.30pm Tuesday 17 November 2020 - Mostly fine weather in the Alps until Thursday…

 

The weather in the Alps was generally dry today with very mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine. Since we last reported, some parts of the Alps have seen a few centimetres of fresh snow, with the heaviest falls in the north-western Alps on Sunday/Sunday night, the remnants of which can be seen in today’s picture of Méribel. 

Méribel, France – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 17 November 2020 Remnants of Sunday’s storm still showing in Méribel, but much more is needed over the coming weeks – 17 November 2020 – Photo: merinet.com

After another mostly fine day tomorrow, a cold front will arrive from the north-west late on Thursday, bringing a significant (but temporary) drop in temperature and another spell of moderate rain/snow to the northern half of the Alps. For the most part, the precipitation will die away early on Friday but may linger in some north-eastern parts of the Alps.

 

The southern Alps will only see patchy precipitation with some areas remaining completely dry. The rain/snow limit will start at around 2200m on Thursday before lowering steadily to between 500m and 800m on Friday morning. Snowfall totals above 2000m in the northern half of the Swiss and Austrian Alps (e.g. Mürren, Engelberg, Lech, Kaprun) will be in the order of 15-30cm but more in the range of 2-15cm in the French Alps (e.g. Tignes, Chamonix).

 

Last weekend, 11 Swiss ski resorts were offering some skiing, these being Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Verbier, Glacier 3000, Crans Montana, Engelberg, Davos-Klosters, Laax, Arosa, Andermatt and the Diavolezza glacier (near St Moritz). Today just four resorts are open (Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Engelberg and Glacier 3000). Of these, Zermatt and Saas-Fee remain the best bet in terms of both extent and variety of open terrain.

 

No other Alpine countries are currently offering skiing to the public due to Covid-19 related restrictions.

 

Snow conditions on the glaciers remain pretty good but there is no base to speak of lower down, nor will the storm expected later this week be potent enough to drastically alter the overall situation. For most resorts this is not of any great concern yet, particularly as many have already postponed their openings until mid-December for Covid-related reasons.

 

Zermatt, however, had hoped to open non-glacial Gornergrat and Sunnega on 28 November, but has now had to postpone this until 5 December due to both a lack of natural snow and the fact that it has also been too warm to make a sufficient quantity of the artificial variety. 

Updated: 10.45am Saturday 14 November 2020 - Another glorious day in the Alps…

 

It’s another largely fine and very mild day in the Alps, with less in the way of low cloud than we have seen in recent days. 

Saas-Fee, Switzerland – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 14 November 2020 Great weather for skiing on the upper slopes of Saas-Fee today – 14 November 2020 – Photo: saas-fee.ch

After a mostly fine start to the day tomorrow, a weak weather front will move in from the north-west later in the day bringing some patchy precipitation to the northern Alps by evening.

 

On Sunday night and Monday morning some mostly light rain or snow will affect many parts of the Alps, though some southern regions will stay completely dry. The rain/snow limit will start above 2000m on Sunday but fall to between 1200m and 1600m on Monday. Any accumulations of snow will be very modest with just a few centimetres here and there at altitude.

 

After a quieter spell of weather in the Alps mid-week it will turn very unsettled later next week with the chance of some more significant and widespread snow. It is still too early to confirm just how potent this potential new storm system might be though, so watch this space!

Kitzsteinhorn glacier, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 14 November 2020 Still green in Zell-am-See right now, but you there is plenty of snow on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier in the background (left) – 14 November 2020 – Photo: foto-webcam.eu

November has been a dry and exceptionally mild month so far meaning that, despite October having been cool and snowy, very little snow now remains in the Alps below 2500m. Snow conditions on the glaciers are still OK (if a bit hard and scratchy in places) but below glacier level the majority of ski areas in the Alps are mostly or even completely snowless.

 

 11 Swiss ski resorts are offering some skiing this weekend, these being Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Verbier, Glacier 3000, Crans Montana, Engelberg, Davos-Klosters, Laax, Arosa, Andermatt and the Diavolezza glacier (near St Moritz). Of these Zermatt and Saas-Fee remain the best bet in terms of both extent and variety of open terrain.

 

No other Alpine countries are currently offering skiing to the public due to Covid-19 related restrictions. 

Updated: 9.20am Friday 13 November 2020 - Mostly fine in the Alps before a weak weather front arrives late on Sunday…

 

The weather in the Alps remains settled, with low cloud/fog plaguing some of the valleys but plenty of sunshine at altitude. Not much change is expected until late on Sunday or Monday, when a weak cold front will bring some rain and a little high-altitude snow to parts of the Alps, mostly in the northern half of the region. 

Grossglockner, Heiligenblut, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 13 November 2020 Not much sign of winter in the central Austrian Alps. This is Heiligenblut, with the Grossglockner (Austria’s highest mountain at 3798m) in the background to the left – 13 November 2020 – Photo: foto-webcam.eu

The rain/snow limit will start at around 2200-2600m on Sunday evening before dropping to 1200-1700m on Monday morning, but don’t expect any significant accumulations of snow. There will be no more than a few centimetres at altitude here and there, with many southern parts of the Alps remaining completely dry.

 

Later next week a more definitive change in the weather pattern is expected with the chance of more significant and widespread snow across the Alps. Stay tuned!

 

November has a dry and exceptionally mild month so far meaning that, despite October having been cool and snowy, very little snow now remains in the Alps below 2500m. Snow conditions on the glaciers are still OK (if a bit hard and scratchy in places) but below glacier level the majority of ski areas in the Alps are mostly or even completely snowless.

 

11 Swiss ski resorts are expected to be offering some skiing this weekend, these being Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Verbier, Glacier 3000, Crans Montana, Engelberg, Davos-Klosters, Laax, Arosa, Andermatt and the Diavolezza glacier (near St Moritz). Of these Zermatt and Saas-Fee remain the best bet in terms of both extent and variety of open terrain.

 

No other Alpine countries are currently offering skiing to the public due to Covid-19 related restrictions. 

Updated: 10.30am Thursday 12 November 2020 - Mostly fine weather in the Alps until a weak weather front arrives late on Sunday...

 

The weather in the Alps will remain settled until late on Sunday when a weak cold front is expected to arrive from the north-west. Most of the Alps can therefore expect plenty more fine, dry and very mild weather over the next three days, with a little nuisance value ‘Hochnebel’ (low cloud/fog) plaguing some of the valleys. 

Drobatsch, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 12 November 2020 Hochnebel trapped under a temperature inversion in Drobatsch in Carinthia, Austria – 12 November 2020 – Photo: foto-webcam.eu

Late on Sunday and early on Monday, rain or showers will reach some parts of the Alps (chiefly the northern half) with a rain/snow limit descending from 2200m on Sunday evening to 1200-1400m on Monday. Any snowfall will be modest, with just a few centimetres here and there, and some areas in the south remaining completely dry.

 

Snow conditions on the glaciers are still generally OK, but below glacier level most of the snow that fell in October has now melted. With the odd exception (e.g. at high altitude in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl) there are therefore no meaningful non-glacial bases for now. Frustrating as this may be (particularly given just how much snow fell in October), this is not unusual – some of the best Alpine winters have not got going until well into December.

 

Last weekend you could ski in 11 Swiss resorts (albeit in a limited capacity in most cases) including Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Verbier, Engelberg, Arosa, Davos-Klosters, St Moritz (Diavolezza glacier), Laax, Engelberg, Glacier 3000, Crans Montana and Andermatt.  

 

During the week the options are more limited - today you can only ski in Zermatt (approx. 25km pistes), Saas-Fee (approx. 40km pistes), Glacier 3000 (approx. 5km pistes) and Engelberg (approx. 5km pistes).

 

For the record, the recent warm weather has also melted virtually all the snow in the Pyrenees, where only a few patches remain at high altitude. There is no significant snow in Scotland yet either – an area that we will be paying closer attention to this season, given the current limitations on foreign travel for UK-based skiers. It is important to remember though that the current lack of snow in both the Pyrenees and Scotland is not unusual for early November.  

Updated: 9.30am Wednesday 11 November 2020 – No return to winter in the Alps any time soon…

 

The weather in the Alps remains settled though low cloud is more prevalent and higher than yesterday, meaning that it is dull in many of the valleys. 

Lienz, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 11 November 2020 Classic ‘Hochnebel’ (high fog) near Lienz in the Austrian Alps – 11 November 2020 – Photo: lienzer-bergbahnen.at

The next few days will remain mostly fine, with plenty of sunshine at altitude but further areas of cloud or fog in places lower down. A weak weather front may bring a little rain (snow 2200m) on Sunday night/early Monday otherwise the weather in the Alps is set to remain settled next week.

 

There are signs of a pattern change towards cooler, more unsettled conditions in the Alps in the last week in November, but this a long way off and cannot be forecast with any confidence at this stage.

 

Snow conditions on the glaciers are still generally OK, but below glacier level most of the snow that fell in October has now melted. With the odd exception (e.g. at high altitude in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl) there are therefore no meaningful non-glacial bases for now. Frustrating as this may be (particularly given just how much snow fell in October), this is not unusual – some of the best Alpine winters have not got going until well into December. 

 

Last weekend you could ski in 11 Swiss resorts (albeit in a limited capacity in most cases) including Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Verbier, Engelberg, Arosa, Davos-Klosters, St Moritz (Diavolezza glacier), Laax, Engelberg, Glacier 3000, Crans Montana and Andermatt.  

 

During the week the options are more limited - today you can only ski in Zermatt (approx. 25km pistes), Saas-Fee (approx. 40km pistes), Glacier 3000 (approx. 5km pistes), Engelberg (approx. 5km pistes) and on the Diavolezza glacier near St Moritz (approx 3km pistes).

 

For the record, the recent warm weather has also melted virtually all the snow in the Pyrenees, where only a few patches remain at high altitude. There is no significant snow in Scotland yet either – an area that we will be paying closer attention to this season, given the current limitations on foreign travel for UK-based skiers. It is important to remember though that the current lack of snow in both the Pyrenees and Scotland is not unusual for early November.  

Updated: 1pm Tuesday 10 November 2020 – Remaining dry and mild in the Alps…

 

High pressure is currently dominating the weather in the Alps and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This will bring lots of dry weather in the coming days, with plenty of sunshine, especially at altitude. 

Heiligenblut, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 10 November 2020 Only patchy snow remains here at 2300m near Heiligenblut in the central Austrian Alps – 10 November 2020 – Photo: wallackhaus.at

Snow conditions on the glaciers are still good but below glacier level most of the snow that fell in October has now melted. With the odd exception (e.g. at high altitude in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl) there are therefore no meaningful non-glacial bases for now. Frustrating as this may be (particularly given just how much snow fell in October), this is not unusual – some of the best Alpine winters haven’t got going until well into December.

 

Over the weekend you could ski in 11 Swiss resorts (albeit in a limited capacity in most cases) including Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Verbier, Engelberg, Arosa, Davos-Klosters, St Moritz (Diavolezza glacier), Laax, Engelberg, Glacier 3000, Crans Montana and Andermatt. 

 

During the week the options are more limited - today you can only ski in Zermatt (approx. 25km pistes), Saas-Fee (approx. 40km pistes), Glacier 3000 (approx. 5km pistes) and Engelberg (approx. 5km pistes).

Updated: 10am Monday 9 November 2020 – Winter is on hold in the Alps…

 

The weather in the Alps is stuck in a bit of a rut, with no sign of any significant widespread snow for a couple of weeks at least. 

Obertauern, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 9 November 2020 Most of the recent snow has melted in Obertauern – 9 November 2020 – Photo: foto-webcam.eu

This decidedly “unwintry” weather pattern is due to the position of the jet stream (the high level winds that dictate the trajectory of Atlantic storms), currently to the north of the UK and confining cold polar air to more northerly latitudes than you might expect at this time of year, keeping most of Europe on the mild side.

 

The jet stream may temporarily ‘buckle’ in the next week or two, but any incursions of cold air will be relatively brief and non-consequential. In short, winter in the Alps remains on hold for now.

 

Snow conditions in the Alps remain decent enough on the glaciers but, due to measures taken by the authorities in France, Italy and Austria to tackle the spread of Covid-19, the only resorts left open to the public are in Switzerland. 

Zermatt, Switzerland - Weather to ski - Today in the Alps, 9 November 2020 Good skiing is still possible on the Swiss glaciers. This is Zermatt - 9 November 2020 - Photo: facebook.com/Zermatt.Matterhorn

Most of the snow that fell in October has now melted again below glacier level, though there are one two exceptions such as at high altitude above Obergurgl.

 

Yesterday you could ski in 11 Swiss resorts (albeit in a limited capacity in most cases) including Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Verbier, Engelberg, Arosa, Davos-Klosters, St Moritz (Diavolezza glacier), Laax, Engelberg, Glacier 3000, Crans Montana and Andermatt.

 

During the week the options are more limited, meaning that today you can only ski in Zermatt (approx. 25km pistes), Saas-Fee (approx. 40km pistes), Glacier 3000 (approx. 5km pistes) and Engelberg (approx. 5km pistes).

Updated: 10am Sunday 8 November 2020 – Settled weather conditions in the Alps…

 

Although skies are cloudy in some parts of the western Alps this morning, for most areas it will be another fine day with plenty of sunshine and very mild temperatures. The weather in the Alps will remain settled this week with lots more sunshine (at least at altitude) and above average temperatures. 

Zermatt, Switzerland – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 8 November 2020 Another fine day in Zermatt – 8 November 2020 – Photo: zermatt.ch

This recent spell of warm weather has led to the melting of nearly all the lower-lying snow that fell last month. Below glacier level there is now little meaningful snow, but snow conditions on the glaciers remain OK for now. With the weather in the Alps set to remain dry and mild for the foreseeable future, no major snow events are forecast for at least a couple of weeks.

 

As Italian resorts have now closed their slopes due to measures taken to combat the spread of Covid-19, skiing in the Alps (for the public at least) is now only possible in Switzerland. For how long though, is anyone’s guess.

 

Today you can ski in 11 Swiss resorts (albeit in a limited capacity in most cases) including Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Verbier, Engelberg, Arosa, Davos-Klosters, St Moritz (Diavolezza glacier), Laax, Engelberg, Glacier 3000, Crans Montana and Andermatt. Many of these are only open at weekends, but of the resorts that are open on a daily basis, Zermatt and Saas-Fee continue to offer the most variety and extent of terrain. 

Updated: 2pm Saturday 7 November 2020 – Another mostly fine day across the Alps…

 

It has been another sunny day across much of the Alps, although there was more in the way of cloud in the far west, notably in France. The far western Alps will continue to see clouds on Sunday, together with the odd shower (snow 2500m), but most regions will be fine and the sun should dominate the weather in the Alps for much of next week.

Val Senales, Italy – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 7 November 2020 Last day of public skiiing in Italy for a while. This is Val Senales – 7 November 2020 – Photo: schalstal.com

Following days of very mild weather in the Alps, most of the unusually heavy snow that we saw fall in October has now melted.

 

Snow conditions on the glaciers are still ok but very few if any non-glacial resorts are now likely to hold on to any meaningful base until winter “proper”, at least not without artificial help. Indeed, there is unlikely to be any real return to winter for at least a fortnight, while high pressure is set to dominate the weather in the Alps. 

Lech, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 7 November 2020 Any early snow has completely disappeared from many resorts across the Alps. This is Lech-am-Arlberg – 7 November 2020 – Photo: lech.com

Skiing (for the public, at least) will no longer be possible in Italy from tomorrow, due to measures taken to combat the spread of Covid-19. This means that Val Senales and Sulden am Ortler are now closed to recreational skiers, though some race training will still be permitted.

 

With France and Austria also out of action, this leaves Switzerland as the only country still offering recreational skiing in the Alps, but for how long now is anyone’s guess.

 

If you are lucky enough to be in or near Switzerland and able to hit the slopes over the next few days, then Zermatt and Saas-Fee remain the best bets in terms of both the extent and variety of their open terrain. 

Updated: 9.50am Friday 6 November 2020 – Glorious again at altitude…

 

There is little change in the weather in the Alps today, with lots of sunshine at altitude but still some areas of cloud trapped in some of the low Alpine valleys. The weather looks set to remain settled for quite some time now, possibly for two weeks or more, with no significant new snow forecast for the foreseeable future. 

St Anton, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 6 November 2020 Sunny at altitude this morning in St Anton but still some low cloud trapped in the valley under a temperature inversion – 6 November 2020 – Photo: stantonamarlberg.at

Snow conditions on the glaciers remain reasonable for the time of year, though it is sadly no longer possible to ski in Austria due to measures taken to combat the spread of Covid-19.

 

With France also out of the picture (also due to government restrictions), and options in Italy now limited to two ski areas (Val Senales and Sulden am Ortler), the lion’s share of skiing in the Alps is now in Switzerland. 

 

As things stand, around 10 Swiss ski resorts are currently open (although some are only operating at weekends). These include Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Engelberg, Glacier 3000, Diavolezza (Wednesdays and weekends only), Verbier (weekends only), Laax (weekends only), Arosa (weekends only), Andermatt (Fridays and weekends only) and Davos-Klosters (weekends only). The best options in terms of extent and variety of open terrain continue to be Zermatt and Saas-Fee.

Updated: 10.40am Thursday 5 November 2020 – Sunny at altitude but often cloudy lower down…

 

High pressure is dominating the weather in the Alps, meaning that there is plenty of sunshine on offer, at altitude at least. Lower down there is lots of cloud (known as “Hochnebel” in German) - common during calm weather at this time of year in the Alpine valleys and lowlands when the nights are longer (and colder) and the sun does not have enough strength to burn off this cloud during the day. 

Bettmeralp, Switzerland – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 5 November 2020 The sun is shining at altitude across most of the Alps today. This is Bettmeralp in the Swiss Valais – 5 November 2020 – Photo: bettmeralp.ch

Over the next few days there will be very little change to the weather in the Alps, with plenty of sunshine at altitude (where it will feel mild) but some areas of stubborn fog/low cloud in the valleys/lowlands that will have trouble burning off.

Snow conditions on the glaciers remain good for the time of year, though it is sadly no longer possible to ski on the Austrian glaciers due to measures taken to combat the spread of Covid-19.

 

With France also out of the picture (also due to government restrictions), and options in Italy now limited to two ski areas (Val Senales and Sulden am Ortler), the lion’s share of skiing in the Alps is now in Switzerland. 

 

As things stand, around 10 Swiss ski resorts are currently open (although some are only operating at weekends). These include Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Engelberg, Glacier 3000, Diavolezza (Wednesdays and weekends only), Verbier (weekends only), Laax (weekends only), Arosa (weekends only), Andermatt (weekends only) and Davos-Klosters (weekends only). The best options in terms of extent and variety of open terrain continue to be Zermatt and Saas-Fee.

Updated: 10am Wednesday 4 November 2020 – Showers in the east, brighter in the west…

 

It is a mostly cloudy day in the central and eastern Alps, with some showers here and there with a rain/snow level varying between 1300m in the far north and 2000m or more in the south. The western Alps will be drier and brighter. 

Stubai glacier, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 4 November 2020 Despite good snow conditions on its glaciers (including here in Stubai), skiing has now been suspended in Austria – 4 November 2020 – Photo: facebook.com/Stubai.gletscher

The latest weather front (which first reached the Alps yesterday) has been a weak one delivering just a few centimetres of snow at altitude here and there, with around 10cm on the Titlis glacier above Engelberg, for example.

High pressure will reassert itself across the Alps on Thursday and Friday, bringing fine and increasingly mild weather for most areas.

 

Snow conditions on the glaciers remain good for the time of year, though it is sadly no longer possible to ski on the Austrian glaciers due to measures taken to combat the spread of Covid-19.

 

With France also out of the picture (also due to government restrictions), and options in Italy now limited to two ski areas (mostly used for professional training), the lion’s share of skiing in the Alps is now in Switzerland.

 

As things stand, around 10 Swiss ski resorts are currently open (although some are only operating at weekends). These include Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Engelberg, Glacier 3000, Diavolezza (Wednesdays and weekends only), Verbier (weekends only), Laax (weekends only), Arosa (weekends only), Andermatt (weekends only) and Davos-Klosters (weekends only). The best options in terms of extent and variety of open terrain continue to be Zermatt and Saas-Fee.

Updated: 10.30am Tuesday 3 November 2020 – A little rain or snow for some parts of the Alps today…

 

A new weather front will reach the Alps today, bringing a little high-altitude snow in places, chiefly across the central and northern Alps. The rain/snow limit will start at around 2600-2800m before descending to 1400m close to the northern foothills of the Alps this evening, remaining higher the further south-east you are. 

Saas-Fee, Switzerland – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 3 November 2020 Still plenty of snow high up in Saas-Fee but lower down there has been a steady thaw – 3 November 2020 – Photo: saas-fee.ch

Snow totals from this latest weather front will be modest, with perhaps 10-15cm at 3000m across some central and northern parts of the Alps (e.g. Andermatt, Engelberg). Some showers or flurries will linger in places tomorrow before the weather becomes mostly fine and very warm again for the second half of the week.

 

Snow conditions on the glaciers remain good for the time of year but the recent warm weather has led to a rapid thaw of much of the lower-lying snow, and temperatures in the Alps are expected to remain largely above average for some time to come.

 

At least 21 Alpine resorts were offering skiing last weekend, but this number has dropped significantly this week, not only as some areas are only operating at weekends, but more importantly because Austria’s ski areas are closing from midnight tonight due to measures taken to stop the spread of Covid-19. 

 

With France already out of the picture (also due to government restrictions), and options in Italy now limited to two ski areas, the lion’s share of skiing in the Alps will soon be in Switzerland – but for how long is anyone’s guess. 

 

As things stand, around 10 Swiss ski resorts are currently open (although some are only operating at weekends). These includeg Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Engelberg, Glacier 3000, Diavolezza (Wednesdays and weekends only), Verbier (weekends only), Laax (weekends only), Arosa (weekends only), Andermatt (weekends only) and Davos-Klosters (weekends only). The best options in terms of extent and variety of open terrain will be Zermatt and Saas-Fee.

Update: 2.30pm Monday 2 November 2020 – Remaining mild in the Alps this week…

 

The weather will be mainly dry in the Alps today before tomorrow brings some rain and a little high-level snow to parts of the northern Alps on Tuesday and Wednesday (e.g. Engelberg). The rain/snow limit will start at 2500m before falling to 1800m later. The weather is then set to turn drier and very mild again for the second half of the week.

Stubai glacier, Austria – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 2 November 2020 Wonderful early season snow conditions on the Stubai glacier, which will unfortunately be forced to close by the end of Tuesday due to measures taken to stop the spread of Covid-19 – 2 November 2020 – Photo: facebook.com/Stubai.Gletscher

At least 21 Alpine resorts were offering skiing over the weekend, but this number is set to drop significantly this week, not only as some of those areas are only operating at weekends, but more importantly because Austria’s ski areas are closing from midnight tomorrow due to measures taken to stop the spread of Covid-19.

 

With France already out of the picture (also due to government restrictions), and options in Italy now limited to two ski areas, the lion’s share of skiing in the Alps will soon be in Switzerland – but for how long is anyone’s guess.

 

As things stand, around 10 Swiss ski resorts are currently open (although some are only operating at weekends). These includeg Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Engelberg, Glacier 3000, Diavolezza (Wednesdays and weekends only), Verbier (weekends only), Laax (weekends only), Arosa (weekends only), Andermatt (weekends only) and Davos-Klosters (weekends only). The best options in terms of extent and variety of open terrain will be Zermatt and Saas-Fee.

 

So, if you are lucky enough to be out in the Alps this week, and able to ski, our advice would be to aim to do so in Switzerland from Thursday onwards.