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Alps Ski and Snow Forecast Blog issued 16 January 2016

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Current Synoptics and Conditions

Recent weeks has seen the Alps transformed with heavy snowfalls down to resort level, with superb on piste skiing conditions generally. However there is the concern of avalanches off piste, as shown by the tragic events the past week. This weekend temperature is set to remain very cold giving very good conditions over the Alps.

Synoptics Ongoing

Very much a classic battleground situation this week. Whenever cold air gets over Western parts of Europe, the Atlantic tries to fight back and re-establish control back over the weather. Usually the Atlantic eventually wins out, but it is seldom easy and often the blocks holds on longer than anticipated. So the detail for this week is very uncertain.


High Pressure centred over North France with bitterly cold North Easterly winds over the Alps.


Monday and Tuesday

Signs of less cold air trying to edge in from the west, so a east west split, warmest in the west, coldest in the east.


End of Week

The battleground continues between the “mild” weather to the west, and colder air to the east. Where exactly the dividing line will be is very difficult to pinpoint on a daily basis. Current indications are that it will be less cold in western areas, but remaining very cold over much of Austria.


Alps Temperatures and Rainfall (Snowfall)

Saturday - Sunday

For Saturday High Pressure centred to the North West of the Alps, with NE winds for all.
850Hpa temps -3c (W Italy) to -10c (NE Austria), and -6c to -8c over the majority of the Alps. FL 200m ((NE Austria), to 700m (generally) and 1000m (W Italy)

For Sunday a bit colder form the North East.
850Hpa temps -6c (W Italy) to -11c (S Germany, N Austria), FL Sea Level (Northern Alps) to 400m (generally) and 700m (W Italy)

The dividing line between the cold and mild very difficult to pinpoint.


Monday – Tuesday

The dividing line between the cold and mild very difficult to pinpoint.

For Monday, remaining very cold in the North and East. 850Hpa temps -9c to -13c (SE Germany, Austria, E Italy), FL 0m to 400m.
A bit milder further west, 850Hpa temps -2c to -7c (FL 200m-500m most of Switzerland  up to 1000m far SW Switzerland  into parts of the French Alps.   

For Tuesday a bit milder generally from the west. however remaining very cold in the far North and East. 850Hpa temps -7c to -10c (E Austria, NE Italy), FL 0m to 400m.
A bit milder further west, 850Hpa temps +1c (far SW) to -4c W Austria (FL 800m-1000m generally and up to 1400-1600m far SW Switzerland  into parts of the French Alps.  


Wednesday - Friday

For Wednesday and Thursday Current suggestions are that the milder air to the west, now covering all but the far NE of Austria.
850Hpa temps +2c (SW) to -4 (NE) and -7c (Far NE) FL 800m (NE) [Sea level Far NE] and 1000m-1600m generally across the Alps.   

For Friday, perhaps a little colder for central and Eastern areas from the east.
E Austria, 850HPa -5c to -8c FL 0m to 600m Elsewhere +2 c far SW to -2c, FL 800m (E) to 1600m Far SW


Total Precipitation

Less precipitation this week generally than recent weeks. However for this weekend there will be moderate snow at times for parts of Switzerland, and Austria (especially Western Austria), which could give a further sizeable top-up over the weekend. Into next week, generally drier but with fronts trying to advance from the west at times, brining some precipitation a times, with the snow level difficult to pinpoint. There may also be some snow at times from Austria which has not been highlighted on the models. 

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Very cold to start, then trying to turn milder from the west, a nightmare to pinpoint, always looking colder in the east.

However given the current conditions over the Alps and the lack of any really mild weather on the cards, skiing should remain very good generally for next week.

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