Cold storm to bring burst of snow to central Europe around midweek

Renee Duff

Portions of Germany and the Alps will face bouts of snowfall and slippery travel beginning Tuesday night and lasting into the second half of the week.

A cold front will sweep through central Europe from Tuesday into Wednesday, bringing falling temperatures and a return of wintry precipitation to the region.

While precipitation will begin in the form of rain for places like Nuremberg, Stuttgart and Munich, Germany, as well as Zurich, Switzerland, a transition to snow is expected from Tuesday night into Wednesday as temperatures drop.

Snow will generally accumulate in the higher elevations above 457 meters (1,500 feet), but there could be some snow that mixes in with the rain in the lower elevations, with accumulations generally less than 3 centimeters (1 inch), according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.

Accumulations will generally be confined to grassy or elevated surfaces across the lower elevations.

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Road conditions will generally be wet even during the first few hours of snowfall due to prior mild conditions allowing warmth to be stored up in the pavement.

However, as snow continues to fall and temperatures start to drop, slippery conditions can develop on roadways. Motorists are urged to use caution, especially during the overnight and early morning hours when it is difficult to see icy conditions.

Snow showers and flurries will persist across central and southern Germany and spread into portions of Poland during the nighttime hours of Wednesday.

The heaviest snowfall and greatest risk of travel delays will be across the Alps. Roads to ski resorts across the region may be closed, and the risk of avalanches could increase due to the fluctuating temperatures and heavy snowfall.

"Snowfall in the Alps will be 30-90 centimeters (1-3 feet) with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 122 centimeters (4 feet) into the end of the week," Roys said.

These totals include the snowfall expected Tuesday night into Wednesday, as well as additional snow from a new storm set to arrive by Thursday.

This new storm is expected to bring yet another round of light snowfall to the lower elevations of central and southern Germany as well.

"As rain moves into central Europe on Thursday it will run into cold air still lingering over the region. As temperatures fall late Thursday and into Thursday night rain can mix with and even change over to snow," added Roys.

Unlike the first storm, residents across central Europe can all expect snow for at least a brief period of time. Accumulations, however, will be largely limited to higher elevations.

"This round of snow could take the area by surprise in the otherwise mild winter."

As temperatures climb on Friday, any lingering snow is forecast to change over to rain.

It's been an active several weeks for storms in Europe following windstorms Dennis and Ciara. On Sunday, another round of stormy weather forced festival organizers in Germany to cancel carnival parades on short notice, the Associated Press reported.

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