High pressure has dominated the past week, leaving conditions fine and dry but with a distinct lack of snow and a freezing line dropping below 1,000m in many areas leaving resort bases in some lower locations with positive temperatures, affecting snow quality and the initially good snowpack from November and early December.
The jet stream will begin to change direction over the coming days, with the nordstau event over Austria ending and instead offering a direct west-to-east pattern over the Atlantic. This will bring an area of low pressure towards Europe, which, whilst expecting to stall and fade by the end of the week in the Bay of Biscay, will still blow some precipitation onto the Alps.
As the freezing level drops by the end of this week, higher areas will be able to expect good snowfall over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with up to a foot expected in parts. Lower areas will still struggle, with the freezing line hovering around 2,000m.
The Pyrenees has enjoyed considerable snowfall, marking the best early season for years. Some resorts are reporting upper base depths in excess of 200cm already. A drought of snow over the previous week echoes their Alpine cousins, although the jet stream is expected to bring in more precipitation after Christmas.
Extended Forecast: This change in jet stream direction is expected to continue throughout the last week in December, bringing significant precipitation off the Atlantic. This may bring steady snow over this period.