10 February 2020 from Danielle in Mountain weather

After a few beautiful days in the Alps, the weather is becoming more unstable. A strong western current is bringing disruptions and strong winds, meaning poor weather for many ski resorts. There is a significant chance that lifts will be closed from time to time due to the poor weather conditions.

Storms and heavy snowfall

Monday saw strong winds in the mountains, with stormy weather and chances of reaching windspeeds of up to 150km/h. The afternoon will bring rain and snow from the northwest, with temperatures dropping and the snow line falling to around 700m above sea level. Tuesday will also bring unstable weather, especially in the northern Alps, with snowfall and strong winds plus the occasional snowstorm. The south side (including Carinthia) will remain largely dry, with some sunny periods. Most mountains above 700m altitude will receive 20-50cm of snow on Monday and Tuesday, with possibility of orange alerts in the northern alpine regions.

Persistent snowfall

The second half of the week will be no less volatile in the Alpine countries. Switzerland will have drier weather on Wednesday, but Austria will have plenty of wind and snow. In the southern Alps, Wednesday will bring snowfall above 500-700m altitude. Thursday will remain dry and cloudy in most places. In total, we may see another metre of snow this week. The southern and southeastern Alps will see more sun. However, any dry weather will be shortlived, as a new fault brings in fresh snow from the west on Friday.

Avalanche risk increases

The strong winds and abundant snowfall will create an unstable snowpack, leading to a heightened risk of avalanches this week. If you do manage to get out skiing during a quieter moment, always heed warnings from local authorities and practise avalanche safety awareness.

kaunertal glacier closed lifts
Lifts were closed today at the Kaunertal Glacier

Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!