Europe Daily Snow

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Cold Storms Lined Up, Where was this Pattern All Winter?


There were only a handful of times all Winter I was writing a forecast with several cold and deep storms lined up. Well it's the middle of May, and the next ten days look straight up wintery, with constant snow across all of the Alps.

Short Term Forecast

In addition to earning your turns in the backcountry, there are several resorts still open in the Alps, including Kitzsteinhorn, Zermatt, Les 2 Alpes, Stubai Glacier, Hintertux Glacier, Crans-Montana, Kaunertal Glacier, and Moelltal Glacier. After a disappointing season, most of April was cool with above normal snowfall. May is looking to follow suit, with a series of cold storms. While temperatures will be below normal for the foreseeable future, it will NOT as cold as a typical mid winter storm. Generally, snow levels will hover in the 1800 - 2100 m range. Above 2100m though, significant snow will fall. 

Forecast for Thursday 5/11 - Sunday 5/14

Snow is already underway with storm #1, especially in the upper elevations of the Austrian Alps. Below are a few pictures from high up in Austria.

Snow will continue throughout the day on Thursday and most of Friday as well, with the heaviest snow shifting to the French Alps Thursday afternoon, and another wave moving through on Friday. I wouldn't expect too much accumulation below 1800m, but above 3000m 30 - 50 cms are possible in the Austrian Alps, with lesser below. Expect 15 - 30 cms in the highest elevations of the French Alps, especially in the Hautes-Alpes region, with lesser totals lower and elsewhere. Check out the snow forecast from the European model below.

Forecast for Monday 5/15 - Friday 5/19

After a break in the action on Monday, another system will arrive Tuesday afternoon. This storm will favor the Austrian Alps once again, with similar totals expected, as snow will continue off and on through Friday. Snow levels look to stay in the range as the first storm, perhaps a bit higher between 1900 - 2100 m. Expect significant accumulations above 3000m once again. Check out the snow forecast for storm #2 from the European model below.

Extended Forecast

Outlook for Saturday 5/20 - Wednesday 5/24

Without much of a break, the models are showing a third storm to begin later in the weekend, and possibly continue into the early part of the week, as an area of low pressure lingers to the south of the Alps. If this storm continues to show significant snow, I will provide an update on it. Expect at least one more post this season, with a brief wrap up as well in the next week or so. 

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