The Christmas holidays started chaotically in various places in the Alps. Winter rains cause dangerous conditions and road closures. The strong winds caused trees to fall on power lines, cutting off power to thousands of people. Ski areas open only a few lifts or even remain closed completely. Avalanche danger is high. The stormy weather is expected to continue until Christmas Day.
Winter sports nations will be hit by Storm Zoltan on Friday and Saturday. This affects Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, and others. Wind speed is expected to reach between 100 to 150 kilometers per hour. In addition, up to a meter of snow is expected.
In Austria, stormy weather led to great chaos on Friday. Wind gusts of up to 90 km/h were measured in the valleys, and up to 160 km/h in the mountains. Fallen trees that fell on power lines left thousands of families without power for hours. This was the case in the Stubai Valley, near Kitzbühel and Achensee.
Due to fallen trees, slippery conditions and the risk of avalanches and landslides, many roads in Tyrol are also closed. The villages near Boden and Pschlabs were completely inaccessible. Roads were also closed in the Stubai Valley and the area around St. Anton am Arlberg, both popular ski areas.
In Lower Austria, in the Tolln region, one person was killed by a falling tree. It was about a hunter who, despite the storm, ventured into the forest to hunt wild boars.
Air traffic was disrupted at Innsbruck Airport. Some planes failed to land and had to be diverted. Many flights had to be cancelled.
Ski areas are closed
In the Sivrita square, with Eshel and Semnon, and in the Stubai Valley, ski slopes remained closed on Friday morning. In many other places, only a limited number of elevators are open or their operating hours have been changed. This was the case in Zell am See-Kaprun, Zillertal, Saalbach-Hinterglemm, and others. Throughout Austria, the avalanche danger above the tree line is 4 on a scale of 5.
France and Italy
Winds also blew strongly in the Southern Alps on Friday. In the French Gap area, among other places, several trees were blown down by wind gusts reaching speeds of about 120 km/h.
In South Tyrol, Italy, a wind speed of 181 km/h was measured at the meteorological station in Val Venosta, at an altitude of about 3,000 metres, a record since the meteorological station began operating in 2000.
More snow on the way
According to the website “Sneeuwhoogte.nl”, a lot of snow will fall on the Austrian Alps on Friday night at an altitude of between 800 and 1,000 metres. Snow may reach half a meter. In the French and Italian Alps, there is still a chance of an additional ten centimeters of snow falling.
look. The skater's quadruple backflip ends directly on his face
look. The bear storms the ski slope and drops one egg after another
“‘Mama, we’re going skiing’… these were his last words to us”: The parents of Thibault (26 years old), who died on the ski slope, speak for the first time (+)
Already the first death of the ski season. Expert: “It is always winter sports enthusiasts who go off course causing an avalanche” (+)
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