Authorities in southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have closed highways and some railroads due to extensive snowfall in the region, leading to airports and trains experiencing mass cancellations.

Thousands of tourists ended the Christmas holiday in the Alps on being evacuated due to heavy snowfall, including visitors to the popular Matterhorn in Switzerland.

The risk for avalanches in the northern Alps remains high.

Stranded people were killed in the last few days as a result of heavy snowfall. Three people, including Swiss and German citizens, died in ski regions of Vorarlberg, while another three people, including a native of Slovenia, died in Salzburg.

The amount of the snowfall on the ground ranges from 158 cm in Germany to 1.2 meters in Innsbruck, Austria. The ski area of Tauplitzalm in Styria reportedly has 210 cm of freshly fallen snow.

We’ve been talking about big snowfalls in Whistler, California, and Japan, but the seven-day totals in parts of Austria are really impressive, the resort of Tauplitz reporting over three meters (10 feet).

Many resorts have closed the exposed, upper terrain with skiers advised to ski below the tree-line. Thousands of people are snowed-in as a number of resorts and villages have been cut off with roads and train-lines closed due to snow or the risk of avalanche.

Parts of Switzerland, Germany, and Czechoslovakia are also receiving big snowfalls but the same can not be said for France and Italy as the Western Alps have received little or no snow.

Crickey Conservation Society 2019.  

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