Current Synoptics and Conditions
The current pattern over the Alps has seen some very mild and largely settled weather. Very good for getting out and about, but not any good at all for "natural" snow conditions. However, with clear conditions, even under this mild airmass, temperatures drop sharply overnight, meaning that snow cannons can be used. As a result, on piste conditions are reasonable, but off-piste remains very poor for the time of year.
Looking at the pattern for today, compared to what was forecast last week, these are very similar, the only difference is that the pattern is slightly further east, but not by enough to change the Alps weather.
Initially the theme seems very similar with High pressure over Mainland Europe with winds continuing to be from the South West and bringing in a very mild Tropical Maritime air mass. However there are changes much colder air from the Arctic is set to sweep into Scandinavia from Saturday (26th). Into the start of next week, High Pressure then builds over Northern Europe, with NE winds set to flood this colder air towards the Alps. However there are still model variations, some have the colder air remaining further east, and others have 850Hpa temps of below -10c by Next Thursday.
Alps Temperatures and Rainfall
Friday - Christmas Day - Mild, dry with lots of sunshine with SW winds, 850Hpa temps +3c (NE) to +8c (SW), FL 2300m (NE) to 2900m (SW)
Saturday - Mild, dry with lots of sunshine with SW winds, 850Hpa temps +3c (NE) to +10c (SW), FL 2400m (NE) to 3400m (SW)
Sunday - Mild, dry with lots of sunshine with SW winds, 850Hpa temps +7c (NE) to +10c (SW), FL 2800m to 3100m (Generally)
Monday - Mild, dry with lots of sunshine with SW winds, 850Hpa temps +6c (NE) to +9c (SW), FL 2800m to 3100m (Generally)
Up until this point, a fairly straightforward forecast, with very high levels of certainty - thereafter things get a bit more uncertain.
Tuesday - For the western half of the Alps. mild with west to South west winds, Frontal precipitation is set to move east for the far west of the Alps, the Snow Level around 1800m by day, dropping back to around 1200m in the evening. Perhaps much colder further east with northerly winds.
850Hpa temps -3c (SE) to +5c (N), FL 900m (SE Austria) to 2400m (NW)
Wednesday and Thursday - A very large amount of uncertainty - However current models, are suggesting that 850HPa temps could go down to -15c in E Austria, with a FL at sea level, staying a bit milder in parts of the SW , with 850Hpa of up to +3c and FL of 1800m.
Outlook - There are big doubts as to what will happen for the later part of next week, however this is the first time in a while, that there have been some decent prospects for improving conditions, the next update will be early next week, and by then hopefully we will have a better idea as to whether these colder synoptics were a blip or a trend. Hints as well of some snow later next week.