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[Blog] Alps Weather Forecast 28 February 2015

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Summary

There has been further snow this week, and conditions are generally very good with abundant powder. However there are concerns over avalanches and these cannot be overlooked.

The start of the season was pretty poor, which meant any icy base formed than than hard packed snow as a result the snow above this is not bound allowing snow to slide over the ice base, hence a very high risk of avalanches. Apologies for my poor explanation but hopefully you get my meaning.

So it might be worth staying on piste than go for fresh powder off piste.

Synoptics

The weekend starts with low pressure over the Northern Atlantic and a westerly wind flow and mild westerly winds over NW Europe.

The Alps ahead of this is in SW winds and 850HPa temps around zero, turning milder for the Alps on Sunday as the milder air edges south.

For the start of next week, the source of the westerly flow is very cold air over North America. As this feeds in over NW Europe and eventually the Alps, it will turn progressively colder over the Alps.

This continues through Wednesday as the wind veers North Westerly with Low Pressure again developing over Italy. Remaining unsettled across the Alps on Thursday with Low pressure over Italy and winds veering North Easterly.

By Friday and into the weekend, winds again looking like veering westerly, so initially less cold and then milder into the weekend.

So in a summary a return to the mix of Tropical Maritime / Polar Maritime air mass split we saw particularly in January.

Precipitation

Showery on Saturday afternoon snow levels 800m in the north, 1600m to the South West. Turning drier by evening.

A warm front edging in from the North West early hours of Sunday morning, with some moderate precipitation, snow level ahead of the front 600m, closer to 1400-1800m on the back edge. Continuing to edge slowly Eastwards, so that by noon, the precipitation covers the French Alps and Switzerland and border areas of NW Italy (SL 2000m), SW and S Germany and Western Austria (SL 1600-1800m) the precipitation continuing during the afternoon and evening, with precipitation at times for most of the Alps.

Overnight into Monday, the front intensifying with precipitation being initially for the French Alps and Switzerland and by morning this also covering a swathe of Austria into Southern Germany with some heavy bursts, snow levels 1200-1400m on it northern edge. 1600m-1800m on it southern edge.

The precipitation continuing through the evening and overnight, however abating in western areas especially with the snow level steadily dropping to 800m widely.

Tuesday sees the front continuing to fragment, but some patchy precipitation is possible into the afternoon, snow above 1200-1400m.

Precipitation continuing overnight into Wednesday, drier for a time early morning, before more widespread again into the afternoon. Snow above 600m in the morning, up to 1000m for a time mid afternoon. The precipitation becoming more confined to the SE of the Alps by evening with the heaviest of the precipitation over Italy.

Further patchy snow (above 600m) seems likely over the Alps for Thursday, with another front being patchy to moderate precipitation for Friday snow likely above 1000m or so.

Temperatures (3pm)

Sat – 800-1000m N Switzerland, S Germany, NW Austria 1000-1400 most of Austria and Switzerland, and N Italy French Alps 1600-1800m Far SW Austria, S Switzerland, NW Italy border areas

Sun – 1400-1800m Central Austria, NE Italy 1800-2200m rest of Alps

Mon – 1200m-1600m N Switzerland, S Germany, N Austria 1600m-2000m S Italy and S Switzerland, French Alps 2000m-2200m N Italy

Tue – 800m-1200m N and E Austria 1200m-1600m N Switzerland, S Germany, N Austria, French Alps 1600-2000m SW Austria, S Switzerland an N Italy

Wed– 600-1000m S Germany, Switzerland, Austria and French Alps, 1000m-1200m N Italy

Thur 800m-1200m S Germany, N Switzerland, French Alps and N Austria 1200m-1600m SW Austria, S Switzerland 1400m-1800m N Italy

Summary

So all in all, a mixed week, mild at times to start the week, colder midweek with some further snow.

But remember the warning above above about avalanches if you are on the slopes this week.

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