A major snowfall event occurred over the higher mountains of Switzerland, NW Italy, and E France Saturday evening through Sunday — weather models were indicating well-over over 1.5m (59 inches) of powder would accumulate in just 36 hours, and word on the ground has confirmed the forecast.
Severe red warnings were issued across the Alps prior to a destructive storm set to sweep through Europe: “There are severe weather warnings for many central parts of Europe,” said BBC Meteorologist Helen Willets. “In fact, the highest weather warning –a red warning– is out in Italy already for the day on Saturday and Sunday.”
The forecast from severe-weather.eu read: “[Below] are the ARPEGE and AROME model forecasts for the expected snowfall amount until Sunday morning, Nov 24. Both models agree there are chances of more than 150 cm of fresh snow in the next 36 hours. Avalanche danger will therefore become a serious threat after Saturday afternoon when higher snow accumulations will occur. Threat for avalanches will continue into Sunday as additional snowfall is expected through Saturday night.”
And the models appear to have nailed it.
Here was the scene on Saturday, November 23 in Sestriere — a ski resort in Italy’s western Alps, near the French border:
And below was the picture on Sunday, Nov 24 at Isola — a commune of the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France, home to the Alpine ski resort of Isola 2000: