Blog by Julian R
Issued: 7th February 2016 20:06

Alps Ski and Snow Forecast Blog - 7th February 2016

Current Synoptics and Conditions

Rather mixed over the Alps in recent weeks some heavy snow at altitude but with temperatures never being that cold, some lower resorts seeing more in the way of rain than snow.

Synoptics Ongoing

This general theme continuing into next week, with winds generally from a westerly direction. It is unlikely to be very cold apart from a transient North Westerly flow and Polar Maritime airmass midweek.The flow also South Westerly at times, however no sign of the ridiculously mild air we have seen at times recently.This combined with generally unsettled weather means that there could be a lot of snow again for the higher resorts and slopes, as ever though the detail makes all the difference.

Charts - Sunday to Tuesday 
Alps 7 Feb.JPGAlps 7 Feb + 1 Day.JPGAlps 7 Feb + 2 Days.JPG

Charts - Wednesday to Friday 
Alps 7 Feb + 3 Days.JPGAlps 7 Feb + 4 Days.JPGAlps 7 Feb + 5 Days.JPG

Sunday – Turning colder from the west
850Hpa temps -2c to +2c and FL 1200m to 1600m (France, W Switzerland, Italy and S Austria)
850Hpa temps +4c to +7c and FL 1800m to 2400m (Germany, N and NE Austria)

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Monday – Westerly winds
850Hpa temps +1c to +4c generally, locally +5 to +6c Switzerland/ Austria border
FL 1800m to 2200m generally


Tuesday – South Westerly winds, cooler in the South
850Hpa temps 0c to +3c and FL 1600m to 2000m (Italy and Southern parts of both Switzerland and Austria)
850Hpa temps +4c to +7c and FL 1800m to 2400m (Germany, N and NE Austria)

Wednesday – North Westerly winds, much colder from the North for all areas
850Hpa temps -6c to -3c and FL 800m to 1000m generally
850Hpa temps -3c to -1c and FL 900m to 1200m (Italy and far South of Austria and Switzerland)


Thursday – South Westerly winds return, milder from the SW
850Hpa temps -3c to -1c and FL 1000m to 1400m generally
850Hpa temps 0c to +2c and FL 1400m to 1800m (France and W Switzerland)

Friday – South Westerly winds return, milder from the SW
850Hpa temps 0c to +4c and FL 1200m to 1800m generally


Total Precipitation

There are too many potential snowfall events to try to go into detail this week with pretty much every day there are bands of precipitation edging in from the west.

While Western areas are likely to see the bulk of the precipitation, most of these events are likely to push across further east, so most areas of the Alps are likely to see large precipitation totals this week, perhaps only the NE of Austria remaining relatively drier.

The GFS 06Hz run suggests precipitation totals of up to 6 inches for France and W Switzerland, 2-4 inches E Switzerland, SW Germany and W Austria and 1-2 inches SE Germany, and Central Austria. NE Austria seems likely to be drier with only 10mm expected here, while N Italy looks likely to see 4-6 inches of precipitation.


Total Snowfall

The big question is how much of this will be snow, snow Estimates this week.

Above 2000m it looks as if it will be an all snow event, Snow Totals 1m+ (west) up to 50cm-1m  Central areas.
1500m-2000m looks like the vast majority will be snow, and all snow from Midweek onwards Snow Totals 1m+ (west) up to 50cm-75cm  Central areas,
1250m-1500m Rain/Snow mix this weekend, Snow midweek, then more Snow than rain Thursday/Friday Snow Totals 20cm-50cm  (west) up to 50cm Central areas,
1000m-1250m Rain to start, Snow midweek, then a rain/snow mix thereafter
750m-1000m Rain to start and finish, mostly snow midweek



Precipitation Charts



A very unsettled and snowy week for the higher Alps. Probably not the best skiing conditions at times due to the heavy snowfalls, but this should help the ski season going forward.

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