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WeatherBlog 3 2020/21 | Something is happening!

Exciting in the south from Friday

by Lea Hartl 12/02/2020
The weather uniformity of sun and high fog is coming to an end! There is potential for large amounts of precipitation in the südstau from Friday. The northern Alps will also get a few flakes here and there, but it's more likely to be the Föhn that will shape the snow cover at the weekend.

Current situation

Since yesterday (Tuesday), the weather has been changing again and instead of high fog, there are "real" clouds. In the northern foothills of the Alps, a small blanket of snow has even formed just in time for the first of December. We have a drop of cold air to thank for this, which has dripped out of the main current and is pushing a wave of cold air from the north towards the Alps. The small drop lacks the oomph for really heavy northerly accumulation - the snow creates a winter atmosphere on the edge of the northern slopes of the Alps, but doesn't make it far into the Alps. Today, Wednesday, it will be mostly cloudy but dry in the north. In the south, it is still snowing lightly here and there, as the drops are moving towards the Mediterranean. There it is waiting for the rapidly approaching low-pressure area to pick it up again and integrate it into the large-scale weather pattern.

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The prospects

The drop doesn't have to wait long. It will already be collected on Thursday. The core of the collecting low will still be over the British Isles on Thursday, but will gradually move further and further south, so that a fairly potent southerly dust situation could develop. A report from the Powder Oracle is likely soon. There is still uncertainty about the exact track and the associated amounts and snow line, but in contrast to our cold air drop, the upcoming southerly situation has a lot of oomph and potential for heavy accumulating precipitation. At the moment, it looks like there will be a lot of snow, especially in the south-east (South Tyrol, East Tyrol, Carinthia, etc.), but the south-west is also likely to see a lot. The whole thing is reminiscent of the sometimes extremely heavy southerly conditions in November 2019, if anyone still remembers that era, which felt a long time ago.

In any case, the flow is strong and should push the precipitation a little way over the main Alpine ridge, but of course only a fraction of the spectacle will reach the north. By Friday at the latest, we can expect a Föhn wind in the northern Alps. While it will remain stormy and snowy in the south over the weekend, temperatures will rise in the north and it will be mild, windy and probably also partly sunny in the northeast. High wind speeds and generally uncomfortable conditions are to be expected in the mountains. The situation should calm down on Sunday, first in the west and then gradually in the east. Details on the amount of snow will be provided by the oracle soon. Details on the avalanche situation (lots of fresh snow, wind, poor foundations) at the respective warning services!!!

November 2020: Mild and dry

Finally, a quick look at the end of November: It was mild and dry more or less everywhere in the Alps. November 2020 is on the mild, dry end of the scale and is somewhere in the top 10 of mild, dry November in many places. There was hardly any precipitation, in Tyrol for example only around 10mm. The only thing that made the valleys look wintry was the ever-growing hoar frost, which developed very well in the shady areas. Many valleys were under thick inversions and the mild temperatures on the mountain were not noticeable at all. Instead, the air quality got worse and worse, as it is well known that fine dust cannot escape the inversion. Any remaining cold, dirty lakes of air are likely to be blown away by the foehn or cleared out by precipitation by tomorrow at the latest - so there are also positive things to come from the upcoming weather situation for the north!

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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