It’s here! Heavy snow, which has been feverishly anticipated for much of the week, is now falling in parts of the northern Alps.
North-western areas in France and Switzerland are having the best of it. It’s falling down to 1000m in places, and the transformation, in some resorts, has been dramatic.
Up on the glacier above Tignes, they’re reporting 65cm of fresh snow.
Further east, in eastern Switzerland and Austria, there’s been snow too, although not in quite the same quantities. Some of it has leaked across the border into Italy: but here, most resorts (unless they hug the border, like Cervinia), have only had a dusting.
In some places, the weather seems to be catching its breath now, before continuing with more snow this afternoon. However, it looks as though tomorrow won’t be as snowy as we first thought, and the meat of the storm will have passed by the end of today.
Here’s today’s snow forecast.
Of course, one snow storm does not make a winter. But the dramatic shift in the weather has come at crucial moment – shutting down a long spell of very mild weather, just before the mainstream ski season is about to get underway. Let’s not forget, Val d’Isere opens next weekend, as does Val Thorens (which has postponed its opening by a week).
Currently, our snow-forecast for the Alps is signalling more snow next Wednesday. It’s too soon to be sure of it, but if it comes, and if temperatures stay low, both the Vals should be off to a good start next weekend. My concern at the moment is that there’s still a lump of very warm air sitting in the Atlantic which could drift back over the Alps. But at the moment the mid-range weather charts suggest it should be held at bay – for the next week, at least.
Here’s a sample of the webcams, starting with snow falling at 1200m in Les Gets.
Here’s the scene at resort level in Val d’Isere.
Pictured below is Meribel, up near the Rond Point.
Below is the village of Arc 1950 in Les Arcs this morning.
And this is how it’s looking above Serre-Chevalier this morning: not as snowy as the resorts further north, but still. There’s no doubt there’s been a significant shift in the weather, in the short-term at least.
Pictured below was Verbier in Switzerland earlier this morning.
And this was the Stand ski hut, about Engelberg.
Pictured below is the top lift station above Saas-Fee, where the weather appears to be pausing for breath.
And here is Lech in the Austrian Arlberg. Snowing hard…
This was the iceQ restaurant at the top of Solden.