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[Blog] Alps Weather Forecast 6 December 2014


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Background and Current Position

This is the first Alps blog for the winter season 2014-15, so far this autumn/winter period it has been mixed for snow conditions. There has been some snow at times even down to some lower levels, however due to the milder weather recently much of this has thawed, although parts of Austria did see some fresh snow last week.

Synoptic Pattern

Currently the main driver for the Alps is low pressure to the South West of Italy, with East to North Easterly winds for the Alps, and 850HPa temps below freezing for the North and East and above freezing for the South and West.

There is also a High Pressure system in the Atlantic, and low pressure centred over Iceland, brining a cooler air mass into NW Europe.

Into next week, the initial low pressure will edge away to the South, with cooler winds from the North West edging in for Monday, Upper Temps still above freezing far south of Alps, but below freezing elsewhere and close to -5c for the German Alps.

Colder weather from the above pattern pushes in for Tuesday, with 850HPa temps below -5c for much of the Alps, with North Easterly winds. With Low pressure to the South East of the Alps

The winds are forecast to slowly veer in the Wednesday – Friday period, from initially North Westerly to Westerly on Thursday and then South westerly on Friday. This is due to High Pressure ridging up a little from the South and South West. The air mass is likely to be Returning Polar Maritime, 850HPa temps back closer to zero.

Alps Freezing Levels

Sat – 800m-1000m North West, sharp gradient moving South East. 1400-1600m generally South East, and 1800-2000m locally South East Switzerland

Sun – 800m-1000m North West, gradient moving South East. 1200-1400m generally South East, and 1600-1800m locally South East Switzerland

Mon – 800m-1000m North 1200-1400m Central, and 1600-1800m locally South East Switzerland

Tue – 600m-800m North and Central, 1000-1200m S Switzerland and N Italy

Wed– 600m-800m E Austria, 1000-1400m Central Areas, 1600-1800m Far South West

Thu– 1000m-1400m North and Central, 1400-1600m S Switzerland and N Italy

Fri– Variable 1200-2200m


Weekend – Showery precipitation mostly, perhaps more persistent at times over Austria, snow levels 600m (NW) , and about 800-1000m elsewhere, higher to start in S Switzerland. Could be moderate snowfalls over parts of Austria over say 1000m

Early Next Week - In association with colder weather from North West, bands of precipitation will edge in from the north West. Areas over 1000m should see this fall mostly as snow, with snow levels closer to 600m at times, the heaviest off the snowfall for Germany, French Alps, Switzerland and W Austria.

Late Next Week - A bit drier, especially for Southern areas, although some precipitation at times for Northern parts of the Alps Snowfall above 1400, by day, closer to 800m by night.

Totals - Not massively impressive, wit up to an inch of precipitation possible next week.

Summary –

Good Snow building Conditions seem likely for the early part of next week, and if the forecasts are correct good skiing conditions to fairly low levels towards the end of next week

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