There is no bad weather, just bad clothing. -- Swedish maxim

I don't entirely agree with the maxim above, but I admire its spirit. Unless you are from Sweden, therefore, you can comfortably assume that you will encounter bad weather on the H2H, and thus weather forecasts will be of some interest to you.

There are umpteen sources for weather forecasts on the Net... and even more if you can speak German and/or French. New ones seem to pop up all the time, and old ones disappear, or merge, or change to become more or less useful for a hiker. Making a definitive list is thus a futile task.

A further disincentive to making a definitive list is that there is a good case to be made for ignoring all the online sources of weather information, and instead just talking to your hosts (pension owners, hut overseers, restaurant and hotel personnel...). They tend to be at least as accurate in the short term as the broadcast and online weather sources (whose forecasts the locals listen to / read, but then modify based on long experience and local focus). Moreover, you may also get from them other useful information such as closed trails and restaurants, recommended alternate routes given the weather, and so on.

Lastly, there is a real sense in which the weather forecast beyond the current day doesn't matter.

For one thing, bad weather in the mountains is extremely variable -- and thus hard to forecast. One valley may get pounded by thunderstorms while its neighbor is untouched. A predicted rainy stretch may be delayed, or completely fail to materialize, due to an unexpectedly strong Foehn wind bringing up warm and dry Mediterranean air from the south. Local topography can cause forecasted rain to fall as snow, or snow as rain, or move the rain/snow boundary up or down several hundred meters from the forecast altitude. We experienced all of these situations while hiking the H2H. So, if you try to plan your hiking and accommodation based upon forecasts more than a couple of days in advance then, in the case of bad weather, you'll be frustrated more often than not. Note, however, that good weather forecasts tend to be much more reliable... it seems that local variables play a much less important role when the sun is shining.

For another thing, most of the time (for reasons discussed here) you are probably going to choose to hike unless the weather is truly awful, and so a certain stoicism -- "it is what it is" -- is psychologically the most healthy attitude.

And yet, despite all of the above, we checked weather forecasts with a frequency bordering on fanaticism, talked and debated about the weather, shushed all conversation when a weather report came on the television, and eagerly checked out every new website recommended as a good source of weather info by fellow hikers. No doubt you will do the same, and so here are a few links to get you started:

  • The online site Weather Underground has broad coverage in English (click through to the country and location of interest), but gives only valley weather without the mountain details of use to hikers.
  • The German Alpine Club has a page with many links to weather sites useful for hikers (most of which are in German).
  • has a good forecast page with various links to useful weather sites (again, mostly in German).
  • has a good forecast page (in German).
  • The Swiss Meteorology service has an English page, but it is not very detailed. You can click through to a detailed forecast (in German).
  • Meteo France has good overall coverage for France... in French.
  • has an excellent forecast page for the Mont Blanc area (in English).