First large-scale snowfall in the Alps

Snowfall Alps, Westendorf. Photo: Jeroen Elferink – Ruijsch

It is clear that it will get significantly cooler in our own country, but the temperature in the Alps will also drop considerably in the coming days. The wind turns to the northwest and the first significant snow will fall next weekend. You can read here how much and where exactly it can turn white.

Very hot summer for the Alps

After an unusually hot summer, most glaciers are currently in a very bad state. Heatwaves were measured in the valleys of the Alps in early summer and it also got unusually hot higher up in the mountains. At the beginning of July, for example, a record temperature of 10 degrees was measured on a glacier in the Dolomites. This resulted in the glacier breaking off with 11 deaths.

Now it looks like the first significant snow will fall this weekend. However, this is not really unusual. Usually the first snow falls in August, although often only on the high peaks. It is quite early that it turns white on an extensive scale in mid-September.

Changeable and cold weekend

The wind turns to the northwest and blows colder air over the Alps. This current also brings showers that can cause white mountain tops on a large scale. Especially in Switzerland and Austria it will be a coming and going of different moods in the coming days.

At first it is still quite warm in large parts of the Alps. In the popular ski resort Zell Am See, which is located at an altitude of more than 760 meters, it will be more than 20 degrees on Thursday, while it will not be warmer than 10 degrees on Saturday. Until Friday, in many areas there will be a tank with rainfall first. Only on the highest peaks above 3000 meters snow falls. It will be much colder on Friday and at the weekend the snow line may drop to as much as 1400 meters in the Austrian Alps and on the Swiss north side. The most snow is likely to fall in the Tyrol area. Here, 40 cm may fall locally up to and including Monday. Some snow will also fall in the Swiss Alps, although amounts here are unlikely to exceed 20 cm.

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On the Hintertux Glacier, which is located in the photo at 2100 meters, the view is still mainly green. This weekend, this image will most likely turn white. At the moment this is the only area open in Austria. You can take the lift here to more than 3000 meters where you can ski on a glacier. Maybe it will be able to ski again on several glaciers this weekend.

Hintertux 2100 meters. Source: Feratal

Early winter sports are not yet available in many places. Temperatures will rise again after the weekend and the snow in the lower parts will disappear quickly. Most ski slopes in the Alps open annually in November and December. However, there are also some ski slopes that partially open earlier, depending on the weather situation.

Want to know when snow fell for your favorite winter sports spot? You can do this here by entering your details in the right column.

Snow warning column

Snow warning column

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