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Future winters glimpsed in the Alps

January 2018 was an unusually warm and wet month across the Western Alps, with widespread landslides at low elevations and massive snowfall higher up. This extreme month yields lessons for how mountain communities can prepare for a warmer future.

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This Comment greatly benefitted from meteorological records and monthly bulletins made available online by MeteoSwiss, ZAMG (Austria) and Météo France. Gridded daily change signals for temperature and precipitation in Switzerland (CH2011-PLUS) data for the period 2070–2099 were obtained from the Center for Climate Systems Modelling (C2SM) at ETH Zurich. The authors also acknowledge the E-OBS dataset from the EU-FP6 project ENSEMBLES ( and the data providers in the ECA&D project (

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Correspondence to Markus Stoffel.

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Fig. 1: Temperature and precipitation anomalies measured across the European Alps in January 2018.