Hold onto your bobble hats, Snowfiends: the weather in the northern Alps is about to get interesting.
Regular followers of our Snow Report will already know there was moderate to heavy snow across Austria and eastern Switzerland last week – followed by a second, lighter dose on Sunday.
Since then we’ve seen further light to moderate snowfall across the northern Alps: 5-20cm fell across the Tirol in Austria yesterday, for example. Meanwhile, the Brevent sector of Chamonix, in France reported 15cm of fresh snow yesterday morning.
But now look. Here’s today’s snow forecast.
And this is the whopper expected tomorrow.
Many resorts in France and Switzerland should get 50+cm in two days. It’ll generally be lighter in Austria, but the Arlberg resorts of Lech and St Anton should do well, with 40-50cm falling across their slopes.
More snow is expected on both Saturday and Sunday. An extra 20-40cm looks likely.
By contrast, the southern half of the Alps will be much drier. Some snow is expected today and tomorrow, but except in the resorts close to the French and Swiss borders – such as La Thuile, Courmayeur, and Cervinia – it’s unlikely to do more than freshen up the pistes and make the mountains look a little more wintry.
As I write, we’re between snowfalls. Austria and eastern Switzerland had most of their snow this morning. France and western Switzerland will get walloped overnight.
Here’s a quick scoot through the cams and Facebook photos/video…
This was how it was looking in Kuhtai near Innsbruck this morning, before skies began to clear.
And this was Saalbach in the Salzburgerland at lunchtime.
Meanwhile, this video shot in the Arlberg yesterday will give you an idea of the quality of the snow at the moment in both Lech-Zurs and St Anton.
Further west, there’s already a thin mantle of white on many of the lower ski areas – a big relief after the dry start to winter. But it’s tonight and tomorrow’s snow that’ll be the main event, and should get their seasons properly back on track. This was Morzine earlier today.
Meanwhile, higher up, Val d’Isere already has decent cover – thanks to its altitude and the fact that it had heavy snow at the beginning of the season. But it’ll take 50cm more, thanks very much. This was the view from the top of Bellevarde earlier today.
The western resorts of Italy still have plenty of snow, thanks to the falls at the end of November and just before Christmas. This was Sestriere in the Milky Way this afternoon.
But in the Dolomites, they could really do with some help from Mother Nature. Thanks to brilliant work by the snow-making teams, 1052km of pistes are currently skiable in the Dolomiti Superski area, but almost everywhere they’re ribbons of white against the grass. There should be a dusting of snow here over the next couple of days: let’s hope there’s more significant snowfall to come soon. Pictured below are the slopes just south of Canazei today.
Stupid Amounts of Snow in California
However much snow falls in the north-western Alps over the next four days, it won’t beat the totals they’ve racked up in California in the last couple of weeks. The amounts are staggering. Pictured below was a chairlift at Mammoth Mountain yesterday, which has had 215-325cm from the latest storm system. The settled cover here is nearly 6m deep in places.
Further north, around Lake Tahoe, the snowfall totals for January are insane. Yesterday, Heavenly was reporting 467cm of snow: in 11 days!
The storm is likely to lift tomorrow (Friday) – but another is due in next week.
They’re not short of a flake or two inland, either. In Utah, this was Solitude yesterday, after 68cm of snow in three days. There’s been more snow since then.
In Colorado, this mouthwatering video was shot in Aspen on Tuesday.
No Responses to “Heavy Snow Expected in the Northern Alps”