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[Blog] Alps Weather Blog 11th January 2013

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The Alps over recent weeks have seen great conditions for those wanting warm sunshine, but not those wanting to see long lasting snow conditions. However recent days has seen colder weather push in from the East,


The forthcoming week has a great deal of weather uncertainty for the UK after the recent Sudden Stratospheric Warming Event (SSW), however for Europe and the Alps very cold weather is pretty much guaranteed although precipitation details may very well be more uncertain.

Synoptic Charts

The charts shown are based on the GFS run of 12Hz on Friday 11th Jan.

Sat 12 Jan

So if we start the Synoptic Analysis on Saturday. There is deep low Pressure to the North of Scandinavia, feeding some very cold air into northern parts here. A surface High over Greenland with Low Pressure over the western Atlantic, there is a high pressure over Scandinavia and this is feeding in some very cold air for much of Northern and Eastern mainland Europe. There is low pressure to the SE f the UK moving South Eastwards over the southern parts of the UK, introducing the easterly to give colder air to the UK, and a wintry mix of weather to southern areas.

Sun 13 Jan

By Sunday the low pressure had moved into Europe and a colder Easterly flow has set up over the UK. A easterly feed over much of Northern Europe giving cool or cold conditions over the Alps. A low pressure system is establishing itself to the NW of the UK.

Mon 14 Jan

Monday seeing the low pressure mentioned above move South Easterly across the over the UK, with the chance of widespread snow over the UK, at his stage more especially for eastern area, although this is currently uncertain. Over Europe a NE feed is set up over the Alps, turning very cold here. Further to the west of the UK the Azores high is ridging further north giving a tenuous block to Greenland..

Tue 15 Jan

On Tuesdays chart you can see High Pressure to the Azores and over Scandinavia with low pressure over the UK running though much of Europe. To the west there is milder weather attempting to push in from the Atlantic.

Wed 16 Jan to Fri 18 Jan

After this point there is huge model uncertainty and things are likely to change a number of times, at this stage GFS keeps it cold with a NE flow over the UK before collapsing the High to the south and allowing SW winds to start push in from the west. In contrast the ECM keeping the High Pressure closer to the UK, so still cold but drier.

Despite the synoptic uncertainty, looking very cold over the Alps and much of mainland Europe.

Alps Detail

Sat 12 Jan

A Largely dry but very cold start over the Alps for the weekend. However some light precipitation is possible for SE Germany and NW Austria at times during the afternoon. Freezing Levels French Alps 1000-1400m, Switzerland 600m (N) to 1400m (SW), Austria 200m (NE) to 1000m (SW), Italy 1000-1200m generally, Germany 400m-800m

Sun 13 Jan

Again a very cold and mostly dry start, this time precipitation edging up from the south later into the afternoon for the Italian laps and into SE Austria. Freezing Levels very similar to Saturday.

Mon 14 Jan

Another very cold start but this time but moderate snow (to all Alpine levels) pushing up from the south into Northern Italy and Central and Southern parts of Austria during the morning. By noon, the intensity of the precipitation should have diminished but it should become more widespread for Austria and Northern Italy, fringing East Switzerland and SE Germany. Outbreaks of snow continuing until evening more concentrated into areas mentioned above. Freezing Levels French Alps 1000-1400m, Switzerland 600m (N) to 1400m (SW), Austria 200m (NE) to 1000m (SW), Italy 1000-1200m generally, Germany 400m-800m Some even during the afternoon, the precipitation over the Alps will fall as snow apart at very lowest resorts in Italy.

Tue 15 Jan

Tuesday seems snow continuing overnight in Central Northern Italy and Western Austria this fading away later, however more snow edges into Western areas by late morning and across southern part into the afternoon.

Freezing Levels French Alps 400-600m, Switzerland 200m (N) to 800m (SE), Austria 200m (NE) to 1000m (SW), Italy 200-800m generally, Germany 200m-600m

Wed 16 Jan to Fri 18 Jan

Wednesday look like bring a showery day over the Alps, with the heaviest of showers in Eastern areas.

Freezing Levels French Alps 100-800m, Switzerland 100m (N) to 900m (SW), Austria 100m (NE) to 600m (SW), Italy 200-800m generally, Germany 100-300m

The outlook towards the weekend is remaining very much on the cold side cold by day, bitterly cold by night. With a lot of uncertainty about precipitation amounts.

However the cold weather will allow for the snow cannons to be operated widely and this should help snow cover even where there is a lack of precipitation.

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