Europe Daily Snow

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By Luke Stone, Forecaster Posted 1 month ago February 24, 2024

Weekend Showers and Another Strong Storm

Summary

Winter has returned to nearly all corners of the Alps with significant accumulations over the last few days. This storm will bring additional snow showers this weekend as it slowly departs to the southeast. The next storm arrives on Sunday morning in the Pyrenees and in the evening in the western Alps, bringing another round of heavy snow. Yet another storm is possible later next week as well.

Short Term Forecast

My Instagram feed was full of snowy pictures and videos yesterday from the resorts I follow across all parts of the Alps. Widespread reports of 20 - 50 cms are coming out of France, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. Some of these totals are shown below.

  • Zillertall: 45 cms
  • Solden: 50 cms
  • Courchevel: 48 cms
  • St. Moritz: 45 cms
  • Cervinia: 40 cms
  • Livigno: 32 cms
  • Verbier: 30 cms
  • Saas Fee: 25 cms
  • Alpe d'Huez: 30 cms

I haven't seen any reports yet out of the southern Alps where the deepest totals were expected. Snow showers will continue on Saturday and Sunday, most consistent in the southern Italian Alps. Some isolated orographically favored areas could see an additional 15 - 30 cms during this time, but generally, totals will be in the 5 - 15 cm range. Additional totals through the weekend are shown below.

Our next storm is poised to strike without any break. Snow will become heavy once again in the Pyrenees on Sunday morning and on Sunday afternoon in the western Alps. The models continue to show a Retour d'est, with the deepest totals on the eastern and northern facing aspects of the western Alps in Italy. The figure below shows the areas typically favored by this type of storm.

These storms are characterized by easterly winds that favor the eastern-facing aspects of the Italian Alps. With the upcoming storm, not only will there be a period of easterly winds, but there will also be some northeast and southeast winds, allowing even more of this region to see heavy snow, as you can see below.

Below are the various wind directions and the areas of the Italian Alps each favors. When the winds are from the northeast, this northerly-facing aspect of the Italian Alps will do well.

When the winds are from the east, as is the case during the Retour d'est, the eastern aspects of the Italian Alps are favored.

And finally, when the winds are out of the southeast, the mountains that face southeast receive heavy snow.

Additionally, as this storm initially tracks south, a period of west-southwest winds will bring heavy snow to the western Alps in France.

Significant snow is expected in the Pyrenees as well during this time. Over 1 m of snow is possible in the Pyrenees and the favored aspects of the Italian Alps. This storm won't feature the same cold temperatures as the last, so snow will be more dense overall.

Extended Forecast

A lot is going on over the next week! The models have yet another storm arriving around Friday the 1st. Model agreement is not great at this time though, so I won't get into any details at this time. Just know that more snow is possible next weekend. 

Thanks for reading the Europe Daily Snow!

Luke Stone
Forecaster, OpenSnow

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Luke Stone

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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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