After weeks of images of green Alpine meadows and slushy ski slopes, fresh snow is finally on its way in Switzerland – and lots of it. Weather experts expect up to 70 centimetres of new snow above 1,600 metres in the Swiss Alps in the coming days, and possibly even more higher up.
The national weather service MeteoSwiss has issued a level two (out of five) warning for regions above 1,200m from Sunday evening to Tuesday morning. This corresponds to a moderate level of danger, i.e. a risk of ice on snow-covered roads.
MeteoSwiss says the snowfall limit should descend to 700m over the next two days. Consequently, 10-40cm of snow could fall above 1,200m in cantons Valais and Graubünden, and 40-70cm above 1,600m.
MeteoNews has similar predictions for canton Valais and parts of the Bernese Oberland: over 50cm of snow above 1,400m and 20-40cm in the central and eastern Alps.
Over 50cm of snow can be expected above 1,800m until Wednesday, according to MeteoNews. In some locations, up to one metre of fresh snow may fall.
The WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research warned on Sunday of the risks as large quantities of new snow form on the poor snowpack thus “significantly increasing the avalanche dangers”.
Over the past few weeks Alpine regions witnessed unseasonably warm conditions and limited snow forced the closure of many ski lifts, especially those lower down, driving the keenest skiers to the higher slopes.