Avalanche warnings after heavy snowfalls in Austria, Italy

Posted: January 7, 2021 by oldbrew in News, weather

East Tyrol, Austria and the Dolomites

Yes, it’s winter. But this report says they’re checking the snowfall record books. Major skiing events have had to be cancelled or relocated. One area reported a metre of snow in 24 hours. Is this a one-off or a sign of things to come?
– – –
Heavy snowfalls and rain have caused chaos in alpine Austria and northern Italy, reports DW.com.

Avalanche alerts apply in Austria’s East Tirol and Italy’s Dolomites and South Tirol. Italy’s Po river is among those flooded.

Austrian authorities declared avalanche alerts Sunday as heavy snowfalls blocked roads and rail segments and left thousands of homes without electricity.

Across Italy’s northern Emilia-Romagna region, rising rivers prompted evacuations as the north’s main conduit, the river Po, rose 2.5 meters (8 feet) in 24 hours.

Schools in Austria’s East Tirol and Carinthia were ordered closed for Monday as Tirolian avalanche expert Rudi Mair warned that moist snow slabs could slide.

The falls coincided with hefty debate across alpine Europe about banning skiing to minimize coronavirus contacts.

Austria, France and Italy have plans to shut or severely restrict access to slopes this coming holiday season while Switzerland plans hygiene rules to keep them open.

Snowfall record books checked

By Sunday, new snow readings over 24 hours neared records: At Umhausen in East Tirol 80 centimeters (31 inches) were recorded from Saturday into Sunday.

At the Brenner Pass, 90 centimeters of snow were recorded. Rail traffic through to the Italian city of Bozen was halted because of landslide and avalanche risks.

In Italy’s Dolomite and South Tirol regions, rescue services were called out hundreds of times. Houses were evacuated in Emilia-Romagna as the river Panaro overflowed its banks.

Full report here.
– – –
5-day forecast for Matrei in Austria’s East Tyrol
(Taupunkt = dew point)

  1. ivan says:

    Yes, the climate is changing … towards the cold side.

    Here in the south of France the temperature has just managed to get into positive numbers (+4.5 C), it has been hovering around zero since new year. It would be nice to see some of the global warming they keep rabbiting on about.

  2. oldbrew says:

    From DW.com 2 years ago:

    Ski resorts cling on against climate change

    Snow comes later, melts earlier, and is not nearly as deep as it was 30 years ago. EU scientists are racing to help winter tourism regions adapt to climate change — but is man-made snow the answer?
    . . .
    In Mayrhofen, Austria, at just 633 meters in the Tirolean Alps of Austria, winter snow cover has dwindled to nearly nothing over the past 30 years, and that pattern is widespread across Austria, Marc Olefs, a climate researcher with the with the Austrian Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) tells DW.

    – – –
    Obsolete propaganda?

  3. oldbrew says:


    JANUARY 7, 2021
    Beijing freezes as temperature hits five decade lows

    On Thursday morning the mercury dropped to minus 19.6 degrees Celsius (minus 3.3 Fahrenheit), breaking a previous cold weather record set in 1969.

    The cold reading was the lowest since 1966, when temperatures in the city fell to minus 27.4 degrees Celsius (minus 17.3 Fahrenheit).

    – – –
    Update: another report says the 1966 low temp was -19.3C (not -27.4C) on Feb. 24.


  4. Phoenix44 says:

    Oldbrew, is that data correct? The record low is 27.4 and no temperature has been within 8 degrees since? Something fishy about the 27.4 I reckon

    [reply] good spot, looks like a reporting error – see update to my comment

  5. Paul Vaughan says:

    I remember a spell of a few weeks one winter when we had to reset the 2 meter bamboo poles on the mountain snowshoe routes almost daily so they wouldn’t get buried out of sight. Fantastic, regular paid exercise in a beautiful setting.

    In that location temperature-precipitation relations flip sign from summer to winter.
    Summer there: hot means dry.
    Winter there: deep freeze means dry.
    Towards 0°C meant wet (or snowy).
    In summer the weather systems bringing precipitation cooled.
    In winter the weather systems bringing precipitation DRAMATICALLY warmed.

    I’ve always been puzzled by why so many climate commentators assume colder means more snow with no consideration of geography and circulatory topology.

    Disappointment: Despite all the years of climate discussion (including the last 4 years) no one (weather left, right, or center) looks accurately aware of the 5 most important overlooked facts about climate.

  6. oldbrew says:

    Record cold weather in China sends power demand through the roof
    Date: 08/01/21Reuters

    BEIJING (Reuters) – Exceptionally cold weather sweeping through China has caused a huge increase in power demand in the world’s largest energy consumer and hampered transportation.

    – – –
    Welcome to the hottest climate evah…

  7. […] is said to be the heaviest snow seen in Spain for at least 40 years. Who’s next?– – –Storm Filomena has blanketed parts of Spain in heavy snow, with half of the country on […]

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