Photos: Heavy snow triggers deadly avalanches in Europe; More snow aims at Alps

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 13, 2019, 10:36:53 AM EST

Following a deadly week of winter weather across Europe, heavy snow is set to further bury the Alps through Monday.

On Saturday evening, the bodies of three people were recovered near a ski resort in Austria. A forth person remained missing when the search was called off due to heavy snow and the risk for more avalanches.

A total of 24 people have died from weather-related incidents across Europe over the past week, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Another avalanche in neighboring Slovakia killed a man in the Mala Fatra mountains, while a tree that was believed to have been weighed down by snow struck and killed a 7-year-old child near Munich, Germany.

Avalanches will remain a major concern as additional bouts of snow further bury the Alps into night Monday.


Snow piled up on lawn furniture in Munich-Harlaching, Germany, on Jan. 10, 2019. (Twitter Photo/@twild471)

@ Frau_Gans

Snow blankets Stuttgart, Germany, on Jan. 10, 2019 (Twitter Photo/@ Frau_Gans)


Snow clogged this road in Pullach, located south of Munich, Germany, by the early morning hours of Jan. 10, 2019. (Twitter Photo/@dirk_adam)

@ Arne Hess

Motorists had to dig their cars out of this winter wonderland scene in Munich, Germany, on Jan. 10, 2019. (Twitter Photo/@ Arne Hess)

@ Bavbigfo

A dog is barely visible above the snow covering this yard in Germany's District Ostallgäu near Kaufbeuren on Jan. 10, 2019. (Twitter Photo/@ Bavbigfo)


Residents of Frasdorf in the Chiemgau region of Bavaria were burying out of this snow on Jan. 10, 2019. (Twitter Photo/@UliKapp)

There can be a general 30-90 cm (1-3 feet) of additional snow during this time across the Alps, with amounts topping a meter (39 inches) in localized areas.

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The hardest-hit areas have been and will continue to be the northern slopes of the Alps," AccuWeather meteorologist Tyler Roys said. "Little of the snow is reaching the southern slopes."

Snow depths over the weekend averaged 50-90 cm (20-35 inches) across the northern slopes of the Bavarian Alps in Germany, with 130-345 cm (50-136 inches) in the peaks.

Anyone staying at the ski resorts and partaking in the fresh snow is urged to follow the advice of officials and ski only in areas deemed secure.

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In addition to the high avalanche danger, the snow can cause more roofs and buildings to fail. If it is safe and possible, residents should clear the recent snowfall.

Trees and power lines may further be weighed down by the snow. Weakened branches or wires may then be more susceptible to falling when stronger winds get kicked up.

"The snow is a boon for the ski resorts, but snow enthusiasts may not be able to get to the slopes as the snow returns," Roys said. "Even worse, snow-clogged roads can cut off the resorts and more mountain communities from receiving aid or supplies."

With the snow last week, officials closed several railway lines through the Alps, according to the AP. Meanwhile, motorists were stuck for hours on a highway in southwestern Germany.

Gusty winds can blow and drift the snow around, further making travel difficult or impossible.

Download the free AccuWeather app to find out how much snow is anticipated in your community.

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