It’s not just the weather in the UK that’s become more active lately. The Alps are in the grip of a busy spell of weather too.
Today has brought light to moderate snowfall across the region, with a long-overdue top-up in Italy the most striking feature. The Dolomites are doing well, with San Cassiano in the east and Madonna di Campiglio in the Brenta Dolomites in the west among the resorts expecting 10-20cm of snow at resort level. More is expected at altitude.
There’s been a little more fresh snow in France today as well – to add to the 10cm that fell yesterday. Here’s how it looked in Tignes at lunchtime today.
And this is the view of Samnaun in Switzerland, which shares its ski area with Ischgl in the Austrian Tirol.
Austria in particular was walloped by snow at the beginning of the month, and there is plenty more in the forecast. A series of weather fronts, driven by a very active jet stream, are expected to hit the northern and western face of the Alps over the coming seven days, starting tomorrow, easing up a bit on Friday and then really making their mark on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Here’s Meteoblue’s current 24hr snow forecast to 1am on Monday February 21.
And this is the 24hr snow forecast to 1am on Tuesday February 22.
There are three things to note about this next, meaty spell of weather, if this forecast is accurate.
1. It’s the northern half of the Alps that will be walloped with snow. Apart from the Aosta Valley (home to the likes of Courmayeur), and areas close to the main Alpine ridge, the snow in Italy will be much lighter, if it falls at all.
2. A proper dump is expected. Meteoblue is forecasting 80cm of snow on Sunday and Monday in Verbier for example, and more will follow.
3. In places there will also be strong winds – which are likely to shut lift systems for a while. The avalanche risk will jump too. Anyone tempted by the fresh powder will need to check avalanche warnings, hire a guide and exercise extreme caution.
In other words, skiers travelling out next week for the second half-term holiday week may have to hunker down for a while till the storm blows out.
Before your next ski holiday, please remind yourself of the FIS Rules of Conduct.