Snow in August? Snowstorm hits lower elevations of Austrian Alps

We joke that Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, but in the Alps, could it be the start of winter already?

An August snowstorm dumped as much as 4 inches of snow in the relatively lower elevations of the mountains, according to

The site's content editor, James Cove, went up to Kaprun in Austria to go for a nice walk, only to find a winter wonderland.

Cove says August snows aren't too rare in the Alps, but the amount of snow in the mountains' lower elevations was a bit unusual. Cove said 8 hours of snow had dumped about 10 cm (4 inches) around the 2,400 meter level (about 7,900 feet).

"That's an awful lot for the time of year," he says during his snow report on YouTube.

(By the way, when he talks about the tourists from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia arriving and that it was "51 degrees back home" -- that's Celsius. That would be 124 degrees Fahrenheit.)

He said snow was reported as low as 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) in Austria and the 5,300 foot level in the French Alps. But Cove figures by about a week later, the snow should have melted or been washed away by the more usual rains.

(Special thanks to UW Research Meteorologist Mark Albright for pointing out the article.)