DISCUSSION: Over the last 48 hours, a fairly strong low pressure system impacted portions of south-central Europe which included (but were not limited to) Southern to central parts of Austria and other surrounding nations. This low pressure system originated in the east-central Mediterranean Sea which allowed for a substantial amount of warm moisture laden air to be injected into the low pressure circulation which developed. As this process unfolded, the combination of the northward moving warm air from the Mediterranean as well as the mountains of Austria and surrounding nations created the perfect set up for a classic south-central European winter storm. As shown in the video above, snowfall totals in cities such as Arlberg, Austria were among some of the hardest hit with storm snowfall totals likely in excess of 2 to 3 feet (or 0.5 to 1 meters) with even higher snowfall drifts in spots. Due to some of the heavier characteristics of parts of this event, this added a tremendous amount of stress to both structures as well as critical electrical and communication networks throughout the region. This event was handled well overall since these events are often well anticipated by forecasters due to the inherent ability for the more elevated origins of the Alps to consistently drive heavy mountain snowfall events.
To learn more about other high-impact weather events occurring across Europe, be sure to click here!
©2017 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz