Europe Daily Snow

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Snow Sunday-Tuesday, then a Break. More Snow the Following Week.

Summary

We have a moderate storm ongoing in the Alps, that will linger through Tuesday. Things will dry out for the rest of the week through Thursday night/Friday, before the next system arrives. This looks to be another moderate event that could continue through the weekend into Monday.

Short Term Forecast

Continued snowfall has allowed more resorts in the Alps to open up for the season. Gastein, in the Austrian Alps, just opened on December 2nd. I was there last February after 2m of snow fell. However, all the terrain above treeline has been hit hard by the winds so it was all wind buffed. Below is a shot from opening day at Gastein. 

Here are a few shots from my trip there last year.

Below is Powderchaser Steve on the traverse back down to the car.

Powderchaser Steve again, this time waiting for the road to Gastein to open up after 1m of new snow.

Forecast for Sunday 12/4 - Tuesday 12/6

The storm is already underway in the Alps. You can see the radar below with snow over the western Alps.

This will continue throughout the evening and on Monday, with the steadier snow spreading east into the central Alps. Snow levels will be low, around 1000m in the western Alps and 1200m in the eastern Alps, offering some good density snow. Winds don't appear to be too much of a nuisance either. Overall, snow totals will be in the 10 cm to 35 cm range, with the highest totals likely in the French and Swiss Alps. The biggest totals will again be focused on the southern side of the Alps, with the winds coming from the south and southeast, as seen below. 

So expect the higher end of that range in the southern/eastern parts of the French Alps and southern part of the Swiss Alps, with lesser amounts on the northern/western side of the French Alps and northern side of the Swiss and Austrian Alps. See the snowfall map below.

Forecast for Wednesday 12/7 - Thursday 12/8

On Wednesday and Thursday, the storm track will shift to the north, giving the Alps and Pyrenees a break in the action. Temperatures should remain a bit below normal during this as well, especially in the eastern Alps. By Thursday evening the next storm starts to move in.

Forecast for Friday 12/9 - Sunday 12/11

As the storm to the north strengthens and sags to the south, light snow will begin Thursday evening in the western Alps, maybe even a bit earlier in the Pyrenees. The main thump of snow will occur from Thursday night to Friday night, with lingering snow showers thereafter through Sunday. The western Alps in France and Switzerland will once again be favored initially, but with continued snow showers the eastern Alps should do well also. Below are the snow totals for this storm.

For the first part of this storm, temperatures will be on the warm side, with snow levels rising to 1500m. Most of the snow will fall during this time, and thus will be on the denser side. Snow showers will continue with the cold front, but accumulations during this phase of the storm won't be that impressive. Again, the southern side of the Alps will see more snow initially, as winds will be out of the southwest. However, as the cold front passes, winds will shift to the north and favor the northern side of the Alps. This will allow most of the Alps to see a solid snow event by the time the storm winds down. 

Extended Forecast

Outlook for Monday 12/12 - Friday 12/16

Things look to calm down and dry out for the first part of the week of Monday December 12th. For the middle and end of the week, the models disagree on the overall pattern. Some favor a return to storminess while others keep things dry through the end of the week. I will have to wait a bit longer to have more confidence in what will happen that week.

Thanks again for reading the forecast. Follow me @lstone84 on Instagram to track and chase storms all Winter long!