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Alps Ski And Weather Forecast 17th December

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[b]Current Situation[/b]

The past week has transformed the snow conditions over the Alps.

[url="http://www.skiclub.co.uk/skiclub/skiresorts/lastsnowed.aspx"]http://www.skiclub.c...lastsnowed.aspx[/url] gives details of the heaviest new snow in the Alps.

[b]Synoptic Charts[/b]

[attachment=125331:17 Dec.JPG]

Currently there is a surface High Pressure over Greenland, and a Azores High (1032mb), in between this there is a ridge of Hugh Pressure over the Atlantic to the west of the UK. This is feeding in very cold northerly winds over much of the western half of Europe including he UK and the Alps and Scandinavia.

[attachment=125332:17 Dec +24.JPG]

Slowly the ridge moves to the South East, as does the whole pattern, feeding in more of a NW flow over the UK, still cold, but the cold winds remaining over Western Europe.

[attachment=125333:17 Dec +48.JPG]

By Monday, the Greenland High has collapsed, and there is a more mobile pattern, winds more from the South West over most of Europe, but the cold air from the last cold of days still in place over Europe. (including the Alps). Turning milder over the UK, with SW winds to start, veering North Westerly later,

[attachment=125334:17 Dec +72.JPG]

The Azores start to become more a dominant feature thereafter, moving steadily eastward, to be centred around Northern Spain and feeding in milder Westerly or South Westerly winds over the UK, this milder air extending into the Alps for Wednesday into Thursday. Remaining colder over Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, but milder air encroaching here later.

[attachment=125335:17 Dec +96.JPG]
[attachment=125336:17 Dec +120.JPG]

By Friday, the Azores High may retreat again allowing cooler Polar Maritime winds over the UK from the North West, perhaps this cooler air than pushing into the Alps for the Christmas weekend, but this is still a long way off.

[attachment=125337:17 Dec +144.JPG]

[b]Snow Detail[/b]

[b]850HPA (noon) - [/b]
[b]Sat 17 -[/b] -3 to -5c generally
[b]Sun 18 - [/b]-4 to -7c generally
[b]Mon 19 -[/b] -3 to -7c generally, coldest towards North East
[b]Tue 20 - [/b]-1 to -6c generally, coldest towards South East Austria
[b]Wed 21-[/b] -1 to +2 Western Alps, -4 to -5c E Austria
[b]Thu 22 -[/b] +1 to +2 Western Alps, +2 to +4 Central Alps, 0 to -4c Austria
[b]Fri 23 - [/b]+2 to +4c generally, milder further south into Italy

[b]Freezing Levels (noon) - [/b]
[b]Sat 17 -[/b] 700m to 1000m generally, 1000m-1300m Italy
[b]Sun 18 - [/b]700m to 900m generally, colder in pockets
[b]Mon 19 -[/b] 300m to 600m Northern half of Switzerland and Austria, 700-900m elsewhere
[b]Tue 20 - [/b]600m to 1000m generally, colder Eastern Austria, 1200-1400m E Switzerland and W Austria border
[b]Wed 21-[/b] 800m to 1000m Austria and Germany, 1000m-1600m further west, rising rapidly from west later to over 2000m
[b]Thu 22 -[/b] E Austria below 900m, generally 1800-2200m, pockets over 3000m Italian border and French Alps
[b]Fri 23 - [/b]1600m-1800m Northern alps,rising steadily further south to 2600m -2800m

[b]Freezing Levels (6am) - [/b]
[b]Sun 18 - [/b]0m to 300m generally
[b]Mon 19 -[/b] 0m to 200m generally
[b]Tue 20 - [/b]600m to 800m French Alps and W Switzerland, 0 to 300m elsewhere
[b]Wed 21-[/b] 600m to 1000m generally
[b]Thu 22 -[/b] E Austria below 600m, generally 1400-1600m, pockets over 3000m parts of Italy
[b]Fri 23 - [/b]Mild generally but with huge variation

[b]Sat 17[/b] - Moderate snowfall seems likely for the French Alps, much of Switzerland and Western Austria. this becoming confined to Western areas later.

[attachment=125338:17 Dec.PNG]

[b]Sun 18 - [/b]After a bitterly cold start, a west east split, outbreaks of snow fro the French Alps, Western Switzerland and running into Southern Germany.

[attachment=125339:17 Dec +24.PNG]

[b]Mon 19 - [/b]Another bitterly cold start, further patchy snow is expected in western and central parts of the Alps, remaining drier to the South and East

[attachment=125340:17 Dec +48.PNG]

[b]Tue 20 - [/b]Dry to start in the East, but a front should push into the west early with heavy snow down to around 1000m, this extending through the day for the French Alps, Switzerland and Western Austria and Germany. At times the freezing level will rise, but most precipitation will fall above snow at resort level or higher .

[attachment=125341:17 Dec +72.PNG]

[b]Wed 21 - [/b]Further heavy precipitation overnight and especially into Wednesday. It is expected to effect The French Alps, Switzerland, and Western Austria, and neighbouring areas of Germany and Italy. The heaviest precipitation in Switzerland throughout, Snow level to start around 1000m, rising steadily to 2000m in Western Switzerland and France, but remaining at 1000m in Austria.

[attachment=125342:17 Dec +96.PNG]

[b]Thu 22[/b] - The precipitation is set to move into Austria for Thursday and turn drier elsewhere.
[attachment=125343:17 Dec +120.PNG]
[attachment=125344:17 Dec +144.PNG]


Very cold to start with further snow likely, especially in western areas, turning milder for a time towards the end of the next week, but big doubts remain as to the Christmas weather.
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