Foehn: A Fall Wind

More blue sky! (See my last post!)

Autumn is definitely coming to an end here, but in September and October, and even early November we often have what is called Foehn weather. (I’ll explain Foehn in a minute.) In our area this means clear blue skies, dry air, and fantastic views to the south.

On the first November weekend, the south of Bavaria basked in sunshine and blue skies, while we were stuck in the fog again!

Here are some pictures taken at the end of September, on the hills above our village, when the mountain wind was strong enough to come as far north as the Danube. We enjoyed a couple of days of perfect Foehn weather; hot sun and a warm breeze…

Foehn is the name given here for a warm, dry, downward (or fall) wind that occurs when the weather system comes from the south across the Alps; warm, damp air is blown towards the wind side (south) of the mountains, where the air then rises. Since it is very heavy with moisture, rain then falls, and now the warm air is dry, cooler and lighter and continues to rise and cross the mountains. It then drops rapidly on the lee side (the north), warming up as it falls.  It can cause dangerous gusts and is often quite strong, but mostly it means good weather and clear skies for southern Bavaria. (Only a few days ago the mountains had Foehn again: 150 kmph winds up on the mountainsides and 17°C in the valleys!)

It is typical for autumn and spring weather, but can in fact happen at any time of year. If you’re skiing it can produce fantastic sunshine and warmth! Within a few hours the temperature can change tremendously, and many people are sensitive to this sudden rise in temperature and to the change from moist to very dry air. Symptoms are usually headaches, or slight dizziness. I feel it sometimes too, but usually I simply enjoy it! There is an adjective in the German language used to describe this sensitivity towards the weather; wetterfühlig.

Are you wetterfühlig? 😀

Are there particular weather patterns for autumn where you live?