Meteorologists recorded hurricane-force wind gusts at the top of Sněžka at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Post Office Agnes on Snezka measured speeds of over 136 kilometers per hour, with the hurricane limit starting at just under 118 kilometers per hour. The cable car from Růžová hora to the top of Sněžka is also not running due to the strong winds.
The KRNAP Administration says Sněžka’s height is unparalleled in Central Europe. It has the shape of a triangular needle, which rises above the Krkonoše ridges and floats freely into the atmosphere. Therefore, despite its low altitude, the climate is arctic and mountainous, often not reflecting the overall weather in the Krkonoše. Meteorologists encounter hurricane-force winds relatively frequently.
On Sněžka, at an altitude of 1603 meters, it was foggy and six degrees below zero in the morning. At nearby Luční bouda, 1415 meters above sea level, there were four degrees below zero, fog, 23 centimeters of snow, and wind gusts of over 70 km/h, the Krkonoše Mountain Service said.
In the eastern Krkonoše Mountains, an ice warning is in effect for hiking trails. “The Mountain Service in Pec pod Sněžkou is warning of ice in eastern Krkonoše. After several days of rain, an ice layer has formed. We recommend using balaclavas for movement on hiking trails,” said the Krkonoše Mountain Service.
Hikers should be careful, for example, on the route from Růžová hora to Sněžka, which can be used in a situation when the upper section of the cableway to Sněžka is not in operation.
Avalanches are not too dangerous
In the Krkonoše Mountains, the first, mildest avalanche danger level of the five-part international scale is still valid. The avalanche trend is persistent. There are 15 to 35 centimeters of snow on the ridges.
“After warming and rain, it has cooled down, creating an ice crust on the surface that has received five centimeters of snow in the last 48 hours, combined with west to northwest winds. More snow has been deposited on leeward slopes in breakaway zones and troughs. The snow cover under the ice crust is moist to wet,” said Robert Dlouhý from the Krkonoše Mountain Service.
According to him, avalanche release is only possible under heavy loads and sporadically in very steep, extreme terrain.
Avalanche sites on the Czech side of the Giant Mountains are Kotelní jámy, the valley of the White Elbe from the chalet at the White Elbe, Kozí hřbety and Labský, Obří, Dlouhý and Modrý důl, on the Polish side Sněžné jámy, Kociol Lomniczki or Bialy Jar.
The first level of avalanche danger in the Czech part of the mountains was declared for the first time in the current winter season on December 12. The avalanche danger in the Krkonoše Mountains rose to the second degree on December 13 and fell again to the first degree on December 25.
In the Hradec Králové Region, it should be cloudy to overcast, occasionally partly cloudy, with occasional rain or showers in the mountains and only sporadic showers elsewhere, initially mixed or snow above 600 meters. Daytime high temperatures will be above freezing, between three and six degrees Celsius, with around zero in the mountains. Winds may reach speeds of over 70 km/h on the ridges of the Giant Mountains. It is expected to get warmer in the next few days.