Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Dismal Snow Situation in the Eastern Alps

 It's looking like this past season was especially dismal for seasonal snow in the eastern Alps and I suspect by the end of summer it will have been one for the glaciers as well, if it isn't already.  

The Zugspitze on the border of Germany and Austria is my bellwether as there's a very good web cam there and it is at an elevation where there once was a glacier, but no more.  

This year looks to be a double whammy due to a "meh" snow season and the damage being done by Saharan Dust that was deposited onto the snowpack a few weeks ago.  

Below is the view looking south from the Zugspitze yesterday.  The snow cover is already spotty and covered with the Saharan Dust, which increases the absorption of solar radiation and the snowmelt.  

Source: https://www.foto-webcam.eu/

Below are images taken on the same day or prior day back to 2016 (also from https://www.foto-webcam.eu/), showing the especially poor snow coverage this year. 

Only 2020 is close, but even then, the coverage was more extensive.

Below is a view from late September of last year. 

It will be interesting to see how things look this September.  I suspect this year will be a big mass lost year at glaciers in the eastern Alps and perhaps the central and western Alps as well.  

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