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By Luke Stone, Forecaster Posted 1 month ago June 13, 2024

More High Elevation Snow for the Alps & Pyrenees

The upper elevations of the Austrian Alps and the Pyrenees received significant snowfall over the last two days. We now have six resorts open for Summer skiing and riding in the Alps. Snow showers with additional accumulations are possible through the weekend though snow levels will be a bit higher.  

Just like we saw at the end of May, a cold storm moved through western Europe over the last few days, bringing snow to the upper elevations of the Alps and Pyrenees. While this storm wasn’t as strong as the previous one, accumulating snow was observed over a wide area. Below are maps of the estimated snow totals in the Alps and Pyrenees over the last three days. The heaviest snow fell over the Austrian Alps and the southeastern border of Switzerland near Italy. 

A large area in the northern Alps, stretching from southeastern Switzerland through northeastern Italy into Austria received 8 - 16 in (25 - 50 cm) of snow. In some of the higher elevations of the Italian and Austrian Alps, some areas likely saw over 16 in (.5 +) of snow.

 It wasn't quite as deep in the Pyrenees, but higher elevations generally saw 2 - 6 in (5 - 15 cm) over the last three days.

Check out some of the images and snow totals from across the region as the storm dropped some impressive snow for the middle of June.

Hintertux Glacier reported 8 in (20 cms) Wednesday morning, and they might've received a few more cm before the snow stopped. This is the second solid powder day for this open glacier in the last two weeks.

Some fresh snow for Dachstein Glacier in Austria as well.

Around 12 cm fell at the Edelweiss Hut in Austria.

It looks like some decent accumulations piled up at Ordino Arcalis in the Pyrenees as well.

The setup of this latest storm is quite similar to the system that moved through at the end of May. An upper-level area of low pressure (blue colors) dropped south into the Alps and Pyrnees starting on Tuesday, as you can see below.

The track was a bit farther west than the previous storm, allowing the Pyrenees to get in on the action as well. This system was also a Nordweststau, which is a type of storm that brings moist northwesterly winds, often with heavy snowfall, to the northern Alps. These storms typically impact the Alps during the Winter months, but they can occur in the Spring as well.

The northwest winds once again brought cold air from the north into the Alps, and temperatures were well below normal. As the storm moved into central Europe, it brought cold air (indicated by the blue colors) into most of western, eastern, and southern Europe, including the Alps and the Pyrenees, as you can see below.

Cold moist air carried by northwest winds into the Alps and Pyrenees is a good combination for Summer snow in this region. Snow levels fell as low as 2300 - 2400 m. 

In addition to Hintertux, Zermatt, Les 2 Alpes, Tignes/Val d’Isere, Stelvio Pass, and Moelltal Glacier remain open. Another upper-level low-pressure system will move over the British Isles allowing additional rounds of precipitation to move through the Alps from Thursday to Sunday.

Temperatures won’t be as cold, but snow will continue to fall above 3000 m. 

Below is the latest snow forecast for the next five days. Accumulations will be on the lighter side, though the very highest elevations of the Alps in northern France and Switzerland could see higher totals.

Luke Stone
Forecaster, OpenSnow

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About The Author

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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