DISCUSSION: Over the course of the past 24 hours, parts of south-central Europe were slammed by a classic winter storm. In particular, some parts of northern Italy received well over 1.5 feet of fresh snowfall which put many people's lives at a complete standstill. These types of winter weather events are more common in this part of Italy based on the fact that such elevated parts of Italy and other surrounding nations are prone to heavier snowfall events at higher elevations. This is chiefly due to the fact that at higher elevations, air parcels are essentially "squeezed" even more and this allows for more moisture to be extracted from a given column of air. Therefore, at higher elevations, this facilitates a greater potential for heavier localized snowfall totals during any given event in a particular winter season. Thus, the stage was perfectly set for a heavier snowfall event with the increased moisture, colder air in place, and the region being positioned at a higher elevation.
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©2017 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz