Hello all. Welcome back to another long term update from me. As we move into peak snow season, let’s check in with the long term forecast. We will look at the models and the drivers, that keep the weather spinning….
A somewhat mild disturbance from the south, shown by EC Monthly, brings potentially heavy snowfall to all of the Southern Alps(particularly higher parts), entering on the 3rd. It progresses over to Austria on the 4th and 5th, before dissipating. CFS shows a somewhat similar situation, with a Mediterranean low starting on the 3rd, bringing moderate snowfall to the Southern Alps over the 4th, before being gone by the 5th.
A small system on EC Monthly goes to the French Alps, and parts of the Italian Alps, bringing light-moderate snowfall starting on the 6th afternoon, continuing until later on the 8th. CFS shows a trough on the 7th and 8th, impacting the Western Alps, bringing light-moderate snowfall there.
A fairly cold system is shown on EC Monthly, coming from the northeast, impacting the Austrian Alps on the 10th, bringing light-moderate snowfall there. The system moves to lighter snow showers over the 11th and dissipates later on the 12th. CFS shows a Scandinavian low, bringing some light-moderate snowfall over this period to the Northern Alps.
EC Monthly forecasts a deep low first hits the Alps on the evening of the 13th, bringing heavy snowfall to firstly the Western Alps, and then the rest of the Alps over the 14th, as the low deepens. The moderate-heavy snowfall prevails, until the 15th, with the heaviest snowfall to the Southern Alps. The snowfall turns lighter on the 16th, as the low moves away. CFS shows light snow showers in Austria on the 13th, and a small Mediterranean low developing to the South on the 15th and 16th, bringing moderate snowfall to the Southwestern Alps.
The GWO is currently in Phases 2 & 3. Movement towards Phase 4 would increase the likelihood of a strong weakening of the stratospheric polar vortex.
MJO is currently in Phase 3, with a forecast from EPS, that shows a continuing MJO signal into the Pacific. The current Phase 3 event will bring a positive NAO trend, and more snowfall for the Northern Alps. If the MJO stays as forecast, the Phase 6 event would correlate with a negative NAO, which would bring more snowfall for the Southern Alps in Mid February, kind of like the models are saying.
EC Monthly shows the AO, to go negative in the medium term, and then moves to the neutral zone for the first half of February. Then the AO moves to the negatives in the second half of February. GEFS is showing a weakening of the stratospheric polar vortex, which would cause a slightly -AO/-NAO pattern. However no major stratospheric weakenings are currently forecast.
So the MJO shows favourability for the Northern Alps until the end of the month, and more favourability for the Southern Alps in Mid February, with support from the GWO and the models.
Thanks so much for reading. I hoped you enjoyed reading it.
Disclaimer: There is low skill asssociated with using long range model forecasts to find snow systems. All systems you see here will change, as the date gets closer and may not eventuate all together. I don’t give much accuracy to these forecasts, but you can give these a bit of your time and your dreams might come true 😉 I find the chase of these long range snow systems awesome, so come and join me! The climate driver forecasts tend to have a bit more skill than the model forecasts, but certainly don’t put all your money on them. However, climate drivers are an awesome tool to explain the weather around us.
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