Superb snow

Our regularly updated blog discusses the weather prospects for the major winter sports regions. Like incomprehensible jargon and meteorological babble? Then you've come to the wrong place!

Alpine snow drought is ending

Posted Sun, 03 Jan 2016 15:14:50

In the last Superb snow update the likelihood of a transformation in the Alpine snow scene was discussed. The good news is things are changing for the better and the early season snow drought is ending.

New snow has already fallen in the Alps improving conditions. The latest view from Signal in the 3 Valleys ski domain shows a more wintry picture but snow depth still isn’t great.

signal

The good news is more snow is on the way and it has the potential to be heavy at times in the next few days. Higher resorts in the Alps could end the week with close to 1m of new snow! The computer model chart below shows the precipitation type forecast for 03:00GMT tomorrow morning. The mottled shading shows where snow is expected with pinks and purples indicating the heaviest outbreaks. Some resorts could receive another 30cm of snow in the coming 24 hours if this computer model forecast is close to the mark.

 

06_21_preciptype_alps

Beyond tomorrow there is the prospect of further snowfall events during the coming days. The chart below is for 12:00GMT, Thursday 7th January, but the details will change so keep up to date with the resort forecasts available at the top of the page or on the IcyBlasts Android app.

06_102_preciptype_alps

 

Generally it looks cold enough for snow to fall down to reasonably low levels, although at times there could be some rain below about 1500m. The chart below shows forecast freezing levels for 12:00GMT Thursday.

06_102_alps0c

Will the weather stay unsettled?

The postage stamp chart (from our partner site TheWeatherOutlook) shows the pressure patterns each of the individual  GEFS6z runs are predicting for 19th January. At this range there is much uncertainty and a range of possible outcomes are shown. Unfortunately there are signs of pressure rising again over the Alps which would mean a return to drier conditions. This possibility is something to watch in the coming days.

500hpa_384_ps_slp

Summary

Snow has arrived in the Alps and more is on the way this week, although at low levels there could be rain at times. Higher resorts could end the week with 1m of new snow. Longer terms there is a hint from the computer models of high pressure and drier conditions returning, but it’s much too early to be confident in this outcome.

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Previous Superb Snow

High pressure over Europe
Snow, snow and more snow
Blowtorch air mass in the Alps
Snow conditions get better
More snow for the Alps
Alpine snow drought is ending
Transformation soon in the Alps?
It’s mild out there!
New snow charts and ensemble forecasts
Hairdryer blowing in the Alps

Forecasts

16 day

Deterministic forecast updated 4 times every day. The quickest and easiest way to view a snapshot of the expected weather.

Probability

Up to 16 days ahead these use data from the GEFS ensemble forecasting system. Not resort specific but a fantastic tool for judging confidence levels and seeing the possible temperature and precipitation spreads.

LRF

The long range forecast updated daily is intended to give an indication of possible regional trends.

Weather charts

Like more detailed information? Check out the latest weather forecast charts for winter sports regions in Europe, North America and Japan. Updated every 6 hours, include guidance on freezing levels and expected snow fall.

Latest charts