DISCUSSION: A slow-moving low pressure center, along with crisp autumn air, will lead to the first accumulating snowfall across the Alps. A weak area of low pressure located across Central Italy will be responsible for the first flakes to fly across the Alps this week. It will slowly trek eastward as we head into the work week, in doing so it will continue to throw back some moisture which in the case for the Alps will lead to their first accumulating snowfall of the season. Videos posted to Facebook earlier today caught the large wet flakes falling from the sky across Northern Italy. Up to 50cm (roughly 20 inches) is expected across the highest elevations of the tallest and most extensive mountain range in Europe over the next 5 days. Furthermore, as we head towards the weekend the models are hinting at even more snowfall across the Alps as a stronger area of low pressure makes its way onshore across Spain and Portugal and eventually across Italy as well.
Snowfall across the Alps is not uncommon in October, however it is a little early when looking at the climatological past. Snowfall typically begins around November and continues through April and sometimes even May before it all melts away in the summer. The mean precipitation observed in the Alps (combination of rainfall and snowfall) ranges from a low of 2,600mm (100 inches) to a high of nearly 3,600mm (140 inches). The climate of this impressive mountain range has been studied and well documented since the Roman Empire.
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~ Meteorologist Jake Keiser