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

Posted: January 10, 2018 by oldbrew in climate, Cycles, Natural Variation, News, weather
Tags: ,

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.

Météo France, the weather forecaster, said that similar conditions had occurred only once in 30 years.

Preventative releases of avalanches will be set in motion as soon as the helicopters can take off, local authorities have said.

“We really recommend that people stay at home, the avalanche risk is high, these are conditions that we’ve not seen since 1978”, said Captain Hélène Delas, a fire fighter in Savoie Department.

Devastation was narrowly avoided this morning in Chamonix when a huge avalanche swept down a mountainside near Les Houches hitting 40 chalets, although barriers took the brunt of the impact.

Continued here.

  1. ren says:

    The polar vortex forecast shows a severe winter attack in North America.,81.40,342
    Cold high pressure over Eastern Europe.

  2. Bitter@twisted says:

    Where is Dr David Viner when you need him?

  3. Curious George says:

    What happened to the word “unprecedented”?

  4. oldbrew says:

    @ Bitter@twisted

    To be fair (?) there’s another quote later:
    Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. “We’re really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time,” he said.

  5. Bitter@twisted says:

    Why should I be fair to a climate charlatan like Viner?
    They make their living from peddling half-truths, misrepresentations and dubious statistics.
    In a sane world these people would be in prison, or on medication, or both.

  6. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    For some perspective, Rhys Jagger commented over at;

    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.

  7. dennisambler says:

    They should worry!

    Floods, Famines, and Emperors: El Niño and the Fate of Civilizations (Basic Books, 1999)
    Brian Fagan

    “Only 150 years ago, Europe came to the end of a 500 year cold snap so severe that thousands of peasants starved. The Little Ice Age changed the course of European history. Dutch canals froze over for months, shipping could not leave port, and glaciers in the Swiss Alps overwhelmed mountain villages.

    In June 1644, a procession of three hundred people led by the bishop of Geneva, Charles de
    Sales, made its way high in the Alps to “the place called Les Bois above the village where hangs, threatening it with total ruin, a great and terrible glacier come down from the top of the mountain.” The villagers had good reason to worry, for the Les Bois glacier was advancing “by over a musket shot [120 meters] every day, even in the month of August. The bishop duly blessed the glacier and repeated his invocations at a whole ring of ice sheets, which hemmed in seven small villages.”

  8. p.g.sharrow says:

    AND his invocations worked! The climate warmed and the Glaciers retreat. Proof positive that Global Warming was human caused. 😉 …pg

    [reply] Act of God

  9. Jack Miller says:

    Curious George says:
    January 10, 2018 at 4:38 pm
    What happened to the word “unprecedented”?

    I was hoping to not hear the words “unprecedented” and “catastrophic” evah again!

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