Europe on the long term 23rd Feb

Hello all, welcome to my last long term snowfall forecast of the season for Europe.

13-14 March

EC Monthly shows a Genoa Low developing later on the 12th, with moderate snowfall starting from the French Alps, and moving into the Italian Alps over the 13th and 14th slowly, moving southward later on the 14th.

16-18 March

On the 16th, moderate-heavy snowfall begins in the Eastern Alps, and moves along the Southern flank towards the Western Alps on the 17th and 18th with moderate-heavy snowfall, before it eases later on the 18th.

24-28 March

Rain starts in the Northern Alps on EC Monthly late on the 24th, and continues across the Northern Alps, strongest in the West until the 27th, as the front finally pushes over the Alps, and brings moderate snowfall and colder weather into the 28th.

Climate Drivers

The NAO is forecast to be positive throughout March, favouring a stronger jetstream bringing precipitation into the Northern Alps. Of course as we move into spring, we will start to see that precipitation fall more as rain, rather than snow. GFS and EC both look rather zonal in their long term trends, so the jet slams into Europe bringing rainfall to the U.K. and the Northern Alps, but it will get warmer as March moves forward. The MJO Phase forecast of P1 > 2 > 3 supports that, with Phase 3 (with a ten day lag) correlated with a +NAO.

I also expect a period of positive North American Mountain Torque from about Feb 25 (next few days) to March 5-10. This will help to speed up the Atlantic jetstream in the first half of March, and bring more snow bearing systems to the Northern Alps.

The stratospheric polar vortex remains strong and should continue to do so into March, despite a blimp that allows a -AO period in the troposphere around the change of month. Deeper into March, the AO is looking to get more positive, as the strong stratospheric polar vortex potentially descends, which favours a +NAO/more snowfall or precipitation for the Northern Alps. A SSW is expected in late March or April, but this is too late for most people’s snow hunting prospects, but could spur some late season snowfalls.

The season started on a very high note with a early November dump, but with a rather slow start to the season proper in December. January brought the pump on for Austria with ridiculous amounts of snowfall, and to a lesser extent, the snowfall later came for the rest of the more Western Alps later in January, and into February, until this point. The Eastern Alps ended up very well this season, and the Western Alps got about average snowfall, from the data I have gotten my hands on.

I said the Eastern Alps would get average, they got above average, perhaps well above average snowfall.

I said the Southern Alps would get above average, they got average, perhaps slightly below average, more snowfall towards the East.

I said the Northern and Western Alps would get a slightly above average season, they got a slightly below average season.

Overall, few forecast the dramatic season in Austria, and the impacts of the SSW ultimately didn’t come to fruition in a way that helped the Southern Alps a lot. It can only make my forecasts better next season. Thank you so much for all who made time to read these forecasts!

Disclaimer: There is lower skill asssociated with using long range model forecasts to find snow systems.

Thanks again for reading this European long range snow forecast, follow me on Twitter @longrangesnow and subscribe to my email list by clicking on the tab on the main header above. Enjoy the spring’s worth of skiing, and you will see me again in September and October for Season 2019/2020! See you then!

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