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PRESS : Global warming: A sharp drop in snowfalls at low and intermediate altitudes
Posted: 12 March 2012 06:10 PM  
Sr. Member
Total Posts:  543
Joined  2006-01-24

Since the end of the 1970s, the proportion of snow compared to precipitation in the form of rainfall has dropped sharply in Switzerland, especially at low altitudes. A team from the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) and the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) has used a new method to analyze the relationship between snow and rising temperatures.

Interesting article from SLF in Switzerland :

 Signature & B&B L’Epicéa, Leysin, Switzerland

Posted: 15 March 2012 12:45 PM   [ # 1 ]  
Total Posts:  2234
Joined  2003-10-24

So far, this shift has primarily become apparent at low and intermediate altitudes, i.e. particularly below 1000 m and up to around 1500 m, because the temperatures there were frequently close to melting point (0°C). As a result, the 0.57°C temperature increase observed every decade for the past 30 years has frequently resulted in the snows of the 1970s turning into rain in the 2000s.

Certainly even this year the snow has only really been good above 1300 meters in the Isere despite a couple of periods of heavy snowfall.

The researchers’ findings show that, in places where temperatures back in the 1970s exceeded -2.7°C in winter, snowfall has frequently been replaced by rainfall in the course of the last 30 years. Indeed, some observation stations at low altitudes have seen a reduction of more than 60% in their snow, whereas at high altitudes, where winter temperatures average -8°C or -10°C, the drop has remained insignificant

So they are saying precipitation is the same but it is warmer? Meteo France has suggested that the French Alps are drying out.