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[Blog] Alps Weather Forecast 16 January 2015

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It was forecast last week that a mixed week was in prospect for the Alps, and so it proved. The weekend was mild as excepted, however it turned out milder than I anticipated due to the foehn effect with parts of Austria hitting close to 22c. It did turn colder threrafer with some snow with some decent conditions in places.

Synoptic Pattern

Not the first time this winter there is a pattern change underway as I write this summary, this time turning colder from the North West with some precipitation and some snow edging in.

The current pattern over the Alps in rather unsettled with winds from the south West, but a Returning Polar Maritime air mass, with 850HPa temps of around 0c to 5c.

Turning colder tomorrow with winds from the North west and this reducing the snow level for tonight’s precipitation.

Into Sunday, and the Alps sees slightly higher pressure from the west, and settling down a bit with temps around average.

For the start of next week and into midweek, lowish pressure and tuning colder with further showery outbreaks, 850HPa temps below- 5c from the North.

Perhaps the cold mixing out a bit on Thursday, before turning much colder with a North East blast by Friday.



Heavy precipitation overnight for the French Alps, Switzerland SW Austria, and N Italy. This moving further east by noon, with precipitation for S Germany , the French Alps, N Italy, W Austria, .

Snow 700m IN NW Alps, rising to 1000-1400m generally further South East, however the snow level dropping to 800-1000m later.

This continuing overnight into Sunday, for central parts of the Laps, and drier further west. Drying up further overnight but showers continuing in Eastern Switzerland and W Austria for a time, snow levels dropping to 400-600m overnight.

Dry to start on Monday, but outbreaks of snow edging in from the West for France and W Switzerland overnight into Tuesday. This edging east into Central areas by afternoon, but showery by now.

Patchy showers on mostly snow over the Alps on Wednesday.

Showers from the south on Thursday with some heavy precipitation over Italy for a time, snow above 1000-1200m

Showers mostly of snow edging down from the South on Friday.

High amounts of precipitation this week, perhaps especially for the North of Italy.

Freezing Levels (Based on 12Hz GFS run – Fri 16 Jan)

Sat – 800m-1000m Germany, French Alps, N and W Switzerland, NW Austria, 1000m-1400m SE Switzerland, Central Austria, NW Italy, 1600m -1800m SE Austria and NE Italy

Sun – 600m-800m Germany, French Alps, N and W Switzerland, NW Austria, 800m-1200m SE Switzerland, Central and SE Austria, Italy

Mon – 600m-800m Germany, NW Switzerland, NE Austria, 1000m-1200m French Alps, S and Switzerland, Italy, SE Austria

Tue – 200m-600m Germany, French Alps, N and W Switzerland, NW Austria, 600m-1000m SE Switzerland, Central and SE Austria, Italy

Wed - 400m-600m Germany, French Alps, N and W Switzerland, NW Austria, 600m-1200m SE Switzerland, Central and SE Austria, Italy

Thurs – 400m-600m Germany, N Switzerland, 1000m-1600m S Switzerland, Austria, French Alps, N Italy

Fri – 400m-600m Germany, N Switzerland, French Alps 800m-1400m S Switzerland, Austria, French Alps, 1400m - 1600m N Italy


After recent wild fluctuations of temperature, a much steadier week this week, temps always on the cold site, but never bitterly cold by day. but cold enough for most of the precipitation be of snow, and severe frost by night.

Several weeks ago I made the point that perhaps the snow after Christmas would make the season, a rather erroneous statement in hindsight.

So I will not repeat this error, however one week form now, the Alps should be in a far snowier position and with the chance of further cold weather still to come.

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