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WeatherBlog 14/2012 | Andrea, Fabienne and Gisela are followed by the cold Cooper

Freeride weather for advanced riders and enthusiasts

by Lea Hartl 02/01/2012
Three major precipitation events characterized January in the Northern Alps: Andrea at the beginning of the month was followed by Fabienne around 20 January and finally Gisela a few days later. Up to three times as much precipitation fell as usual in January. With cold high Cooper, a rather dry, very frosty phase is now imminent.

Three major precipitation events characterized January in the northern Alps: Andrea at the beginning of the month was followed by Fabienne around 20 January and finally Gisela a few days later. Up to three times as much precipitation fell as usual in January. With cold snap Cooper, a rather dry, very frosty phase is now imminent.

January review

In addition to over a meter of fresh snow, Andrea in particular caused exceptionally strong winds and consequently avalanche warning level 4 for 5 days. Vorarlberg was temporarily inaccessible by road. Gisela also caused considerable traffic disruptions; several thousand holidaymakers were temporarily stranded in Ischgl and Galtür and even the Fernpass was briefly closed. Tourists who were unable to reach the Arlberg due to road closures invaded otherwise quiet areas. This was all thanks to a tough westerly (northerly) wind that brought one disturbance after another to us from the Atlantic. Despite above-average amounts of snow, last January was not a record month in this respect. Innsbruck had more snow in January 2006 and 1999 than this year.

Records were only set in the south: a new monthly sunshine record was set at Lake Wörthersee. As snowy as the last few weeks have been in the north, they have been dry in the southern Alps. Thanks to the persistent westerly conditions, less than 20% of the average precipitation often fell there. In terms of temperature, January was widely above the long-term average. In Austria, it was only cold on average in Tyrol, everywhere else it was around 2 degrees too warm.

Cold wave

2 meter temperature on Friday, 3.2.2012. Cold high Cooper ensures extremely low temperatures across the board.

What January lacked in frost, February now seems to want to make up for. It has been apparent for some time that a cold high from Russia is pushing towards Central Europe. In addition to beautiful pictures of snow on the Mediterranean, reports of more and more cold-related deaths in Eastern Europe have been in the news for several days. The Alps are likely to be the coldest on Friday and at the weekend with temperatures of around -20°C at 2000 m. In terms of snow, the current situation is interesting for the south and south-east. The frontal zone of a Mediterranean low has arrived on the south-western edge of the cold high Cooper, which already caused 20 cm of snow and closed schools in Turin on Monday. Currently and in the coming days, there is likely to be some more fresh snow from Abruzzo across the Balkans to Greece. A storm chasing trip to Kosovo, Albania or Macedonia is recommended for everyone. Otherwise, it's better not to show any skin, not even your nose or ears, especially at higher altitudes over the next few days.

This article has been automatically translated by DeepL with subsequent editing. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors or if the translation has lost its meaning, please write an e-mail to the editors.

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