Avalanche, storm warnings in Alps as heavy snowfall looms

Vienna: After stormy winds brought snowdrifts to parts of Austria earlier, alpine avalanche risk monitors issued fresh warnings on Saturday.
Heavy snow looks likely once again on Saturday and Sunday in the Alps, ending the brief respite provided by a Friday with relatively little snowfall.
As a result, snow on meadow slopes and in forests could suddenly start to slide even below an altitude of 2000 metres above sea level.
Avalanches could break loose on steep rocky terrain, the avalanche warning service for the state of Styria in south-east Austria reported.
Across the Alps, safety agencies kept the avalanche threat level on high, though it was downgraded on Saturday to lower levels in some spots, including in Germany’s Berchtesgaden.
In the central Austrian Ybbstal Alps, some 20 centimetres of new snow was expected at 1500-metres in elevation, with temperatures at minus 5 degrees Celsius.
The German weather service (DWD) also issued a warning over expected heavy snowfall in the coming days. In Upper Bavaria and Swabia, a storm warning was sent out: above 1,000 metres in elevation, up to one metre of fresh snow is expected between Saturday evening and Tuesday.
In the German Alps and the Bavarian Forest region, between 20 and 50 centimetres of snow is anticipated at 600 metres above sea level.
In the foothills of the Alps, gusty winds of up to 70 kilometres an hour are expected, while in the Bavarian Forest speeds could reach 100 kilometres an hour. Snow drifts are to be expected, according to DWD. — dpa