Heavy snow has blanketed the eastern Alps, dumping up to 70cm of the white stuff in places. The heaviest snow has fallen in parts of the Tirol and the Salzburgerland in Austria, but almost the whole region has at least a dusting this morning.
The forecasts were pretty much spot on – although the storm took bit longer to get going than we originally thought. Anyone watching the Austrian webcams yesterday afternoon saw a lot of heavy rain to start with. But then, in the late afternoon the temperature dropped, and snow started falling down the valley floor.
And now look. This was the snow at the bottom of the Hintertux lift system in the Zillertal this morning. There’s 40cm of new snow up top, and although the skies have not yet cleared, the lifts are already running.
Pictured, below, was scene beneath the Stubai glacier, which reports a whopping 70cm of snow. Some trees have come down in the storm, which was slowing down the opening of the lifts this morning.
This was the Pitztal, beneath the Pitztal Glacier…
This is St Anton…
There’s been heavy snow in parts of Switzerland, too, favouring the resorts of the north and east.
And there’s been snow in France too.
The Grand Massif ski area has done particularly well from the storm.
Meanwhile, Tignes has only had a dusting – but still it’s great pre-season publicity for the opening of the glacier tomorrow for autumn skiing.
Many Italian resorts have had a dusting too. Madonna di Campiglio, beneath the Brenta Dolomites, has had more than most.
Will the snow last? Well, according to our snow forecast for the Alps, there’s more snow expected today and over the weekend, though not in the same quantities, and temperatures are likely to rise at the same time. We’ll see the snowline retreat from the valley floors soon enough.
But in the medium turn, it looks as though the weather will stay turbulent, and there’s a chance of another burst of cold, snowy weather in the middle of next week. Keep an eye on our snow forecast for signs of that.
Are we looking at an early start to winter? At the moment, that’s anyone’s guess. Heavy snow in October is quite normal – and can be followed by a month of unseasonably mild sunshine, so don’t count your chickens just yet. We’ll need a run of these snowstorms and plenty of cold northern air before we can start getting properly excited.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and make a start on my ski fitness