Europe Daily Snow

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By Luke Stone, Forecaster Posted 2 months ago December 8, 2023

Several Storms Lined Up, But Rising Snow Levels Will Limit Totals

Summary

The pattern across the Alps remains active, but a warming trend will leave these next few storms more wet than white. Upper elevations will continue to get deeper while mid and lower elevations will see a mix of rain and snow at times. A more extended break is possible toward the middle of the month.

Short Term Forecast

I am tracking four more storms before the middle of the month in this active and progressive pattern. Unfortunately, snow levels will gradually rise throughout this period bringing some rain to low and mid elevations. Toward the end of the fourth storm in this series next week, we should cool down again with additional snow.

There aren't many changes to the forecast for the first storm, underway this morning. The central and southern Alps remain favored for the deepest snow, with a solid 15 - 30 cms expected. The Swiss Alps should see 5 - 15 cms while just a few cms are likely in Austria. Totals have trended down a bit in the Pyrenees with only 5 - 15 cms likely. This quick storm should wrap up Saturday morning in the western Alps and Saturday afternoon in the east.

The next round of snow is closely trailing the first one, with snow returning to the French Alps on Saturday afternoon. Snow quickly spreads into the Swiss and Austrian Alps as snow levels rise to 1800m in France, 1500m in Switzerland, and 1400m in Austria. This will result in snow for most middle and upper elevations at the resorts but rain down low.

This is another fast-moving storm that will end Sunday afternoon. With a more northerly track, most of the northern Alps should see similar totals, with perhaps a bit more in the French and Swiss Alps. Check out the snow forecast below from the European model. Snow levels will briefly fall late Sunday but will quickly start to climb once again Sunday night as the next system approaches.

Storm number three will feature even warmer temperatures. The Alps will be on the southern edge of this storm tracking to our north. The cold air just won't make it far enough south for this one, resulting in snow levels around 2150 - 2450m in the French Alps and western Swiss Alps. In the Austrian Alps and eastern Swiss Alps, snow levels will climb to 1800 - 2100m. I am still giving a big range on these since we're several days out, but right now this storm is looking warm.

Precipitation will pick up early Monday morning, as a warm front pushes through the Alps, and continue through Tuesday morning. With west-northwest flow, the French Alps should see the most precipitation, but Switzerland and Austria won’t be far behind. However, combined with the high-elevation resorts in France, these areas will see the most snow given the warm temperatures. Generally, expect 15-30 cms above the snow levels listed in France, and 10 - 20 cms for the upper elevations of the Swiss and Austrian Alps.

Extended Forecast

Another storm is possible from Tuesday to Thursday, and snow levels look a bit lower at time. This could bring another solid round of snow, with an early guess of around 15 - 30 cms over the course of two days. 

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About Our Forecaster

Luke Stone

Forecaster

Luke Stone earned his M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Utah, with a research focus on seasonal forecasting. Luke has scored deep days around the world, including coast-to-coast across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

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