This is how Val d’Isere in France looked earlier this evening, after a fast-moving band of snow crossed the Alps.
More of the white stuff is expected in the region on both Saturday and Sunday – as you’ll see from our latest snow forecast.
For a time today, the snow settled down to 2000m, but it’s retreated uphill a little now, and will continue to do so tomorrow, before the next weather front arrives at the weekend. It should be snowing back down to 2000m again on Sunday, with the eastern and western ends of the Alps most likely to benefit.
As I write, it’s still snowing along the main Alpine Ridge in the Austrian Tirol – although it will clear away quickly tonight. Pictured below was the Pitztal glacier earlier this evening.
And this was the scene at 2800m in the Schnalstal, on the Italian (but German-speaking) side of the border.
Please don’t think this means winter is coming early. It’s much too soon to be talking in those terms. But it is worth noting that – according to the European Centre for Mid-Range Weather Forecasts – the cool and unsettled spell should last until next Wednesday at least. This is great news for the glacier ski areas of the Alps, which were hammered during the long hot spell this summer. In the Tirol especially, they have had two good medium-sized top-ups already this month. Two more of them – the Stubai and the Pitztal – are due to open for autumn skiing on Saturday.
Let’s hope this cooler trend settles in for a while and gets them all off to a cracking start.
Here, to finish, is a view of Mont Blanc from the slopes above Les Houches, near Chamonix, late this afternoon.