Europe Daily Snow
By Luke Stone, Forecaster Posted 2 months ago December 10, 2023
After a series of cold storms with low snow levels, we return to a warmer pattern for the final two storms in this series. Dense snow will pile up at upper elevations but these won’t be ideal storms to chase. A break in the storms is expected starting Thursday.
Short Term Forecast
An active pattern remains in place for most of this week, but temps will be on the rise. Precipitation will fall for much of the next four days, without much of a break, as two more storms cross the region. The two upper-level systems move through from Sunday night through Tuesday morning and then Tuesday night through Friday morning. Overall, the first of these two storms will be warmer, with a gradual cooling trend during the second.
Similar to the pattern we saw in November, a strong jet stream extending across the Atlantic will lead to the development of a large upper-level low that will direct an atmospheric river toward the Alps. This will produce copious amounts of moisture and lead to high snow levels, especially Sunday night through Tuesday. You can see the precipitable water, jet stream, and upper-level patterns below.
As the atmospheric river shifts south Tuesday night, a cold front will start to move over the Alps. This will bring snow levels down and improve snow quality.
Moisture from this storm will arrive Sunday night with rising snow levels (2000m) and moderate rain/snow. Snow and rain will increase on Monday as snow levels climb even higher (2100m). Precipitation continues Monday night but will start to taper Tuesday morning, with snow levels approaching 2300m at this point.
Both of these storms will favor the northern side of the Alps, with the leeward resorts receiving much less snow. Snow totals above 2300m feet will be 10 - 20 cms in France, 15 - 30 cms in Switzerland, and 25 - 50 cms in Austria. At lower elevations, snow totals will drop off considerably, with minimal accumulations below 1900m.
The next storm will arrive before this one departs, with no break in the action. Snow levels will thankfully start to fall Tuesday night, as rain and snow continue. With cooling temperatures, more snow should fall in France during this storm, likely in the 20 - 40 cm range, while Austria and Switzerland can generally expect 15 - 30 cms. I will fine-tune these totals in a later post.
The latest guidance still brings a ridge into Europe around Friday. This should stop storms from impacting the region for several days. However, the ridge may not stick around too long, with active weather returning around the 20th.
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