Alps hit by ‘once-in-a-generation’ snow storms

More than a metre (39in) of snow fell in parts on Monday alone. On Tuesday, a metre more is forecast. The avalanche risk is set at the rarely used maximum on a five-point scale. This is the highest it has been for almost 10 years.

BBC News For some perspective, Rhys Jagger commented over at weatheraction.com; The trapping in Zermatt is less to do with 1 metre of snow and more to do with the mild southerly winds which brought it, allied to the narrow steep sided valley from Visp up to Zermatt. The avalanche risk will mean trains and cars will not be safe. The storm just past is not unheard of – 1990 and 1999 saw bigger ones lasting longer. 1990 4 metres fell over five days, 1999 there was two metres snowfall at resort level. People just do not report that.

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Image credit: Andrew Holt
Parts of the Alps have seen a return to 1978 weather conditions according to this report, with some places only accessible by helicopter.

Hundreds of roads across the Alps in France, Italy and Switzerland were closed, cutting off resorts and villages, after the kind of snowfall that only comes once every 30 years, as Euronews reports.

Tens of thousands of people have been stranded across the Alps after ‘once-in-a-generation’ weather dumped almost 2 meters of snow on some ski resorts in less than 48 hours.

Schools and nurseries have been closed and roads cut off after the Savoie department in France was placed on red alert – the highest warning for avalanches.

Tignes and Val d’Isere have been in lockdown with tourists and residents confined to the area.

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