winter snow forecast

Winter is Coming: Snow Forecast for Italian Alps 2016/2017


Autumn snow arrives below 1000 meters in the Italian Alps

Early Snow

Last weekend the white stuff made an early debut in more than a few spots. For those who don’t care for the winter, I’m afraid I can’t muster up too much sympathy. Last year the snow came late leaving the ground brown and scratchy in many mountain zones used to a softer, whiter setting. The first snow I experienced this year made me even more curious as to what the winter snow forecast calls for.

Will La Nina bring powder days to the Alps ? How much snow will we get?

In an attempt to turn hope and optimism into something more scientific, I looked into what the meteorological types were calling for.  We all know forecasts, especially long term ones are iffy at best, but I thought I would seek out signs of good fortune for the coming season.

I sought evidence to assure me that the Alps be as they should in winter, white and cold and bloated with snow. With weather in the mountains being a hard call, these predictions may be closer to a palm reader’s promises than actual proof of powder. But I have always found comfort in a positive outlook for snow.

In search of an Italian Farmer’s Almanac

There is no Farmer’s Almanac for Italy. At least that I know of, maybe someone can fill me in if . It could be quite nice to have one here. Robert Thomas founded The Old Farmer’s Almanac in 1792 He noted that with this American classic reference book “Our main endeavour is to be useful, but with a pleasant degree of humor.”

So without a useful bound guide, I scoured the internet for promises of a snowy winter. What I discovered is that no one really knows.

Of course no one knows, and this seems especially true for the Alps.  Even in places filled with radars and models and other sciency tech stuff, plotting out where the snow falls (or doesn’t) , it seems the Alps are off the proverbial radar.

La Nina and the winter

It could be a La Nina (little girl) year. On the bright (or cloudy side as the case may be), those who do attempt to address the Alps say that the suspected La Nina of this year could portend powder our way.

Certainly snow seekers in many spots felt that last year was some sort of heartless punishment, at least early season. We hope that this year turns out to be filled with the fluffy white stuff.

Blasting News, an Italian news site, posted the odds on October 16 of a 60% chance of La Nina. The site referenced meterologist Mario Giuliacci who cites Japan Meteorological Agency  for the  odds on La Nina possibilities. This is in contrast from the more negative outlook by the NOAA which says La Nina will not visit and Italy can expect a milder winter.


Courmayeur webcam showing October snow

The little girl means nothing

MeteoMorris, founder of Wepowder does a great job of trying to find a correlation.
We can assume that a guy with a site named for snow is digging (pun intended) for evidence of major dumpage. In his post  on this winter’s  forecast, he looked into a correlation between La Nina and snow in the Alps (spoiler alert- there really isn’t any). His research indicates that  the relation  between La Nina and alpine snow is as thin as last year’s coverage.

As for a divine prediction for a white winter, it seems it is still up in the air.  We will get what we get. For those who want to find the  latest weather  info you can search for a  bolletino neve.  A couple of good one-stop-shop references include: Neve Italia’s Bollettino Neve ( in Italian) and J2Ski . These sites also offer info on the number of  impianti,  (lifts) open.

Here’s hoping that winter arrives soon and may the snow come with frequency and abundance!




image credits:

snowflake form Noun Project Janina Aritao


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *