Three German skiers were killed and another is still missing, after they were buried in an avalanche near the Austrian ski resort of Lech am Arlberg over the weekend, a press officer for the western province of Vorarlberg told CNN.
Meanwhile, in the French Alps, two ski patrollers were killed Sunday after devices they were using to trigger avalanches exploded, the Haute-Savoie region's high mountain gendarmerie said.
The severe weather has been fueled by a persistent area of low pressure, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The northern-facing slopes of the Alps in Germany and Austria, which have been battered by repeated rounds of storms, have seen upward of 10 feet in some spots.
"There are locations, mainly in Austria and southern Bavaria, where we haven't seen this level of snowfall ever before, or at least not to that extreme," Florian Pappenberger, the director of forecasts at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, said. "It is unusual, you don't get very often people chipping the tops of their houses free of snow."
And no signs of a let-up in the snowfall are expected until Tuesday.
In Austria, a rescue mission for the fourth skier was suspended because of continuous heavy snow and avalanche warnings in the area, Vorarlberg press officer Florian Themessl-Huber said, adding that rescuers may not be able to resume their work until Tuesday or even Wednesday. The Austrian federal police and army are on the scene to help with the search and moving snow.
While Austria is no stranger to heavy snowfall at this time of year, the rapid accumulation in recent days has raised fears of further avalanches.
According to the WMO, the cold wave in eastern Europe will continue for at least another week, with deep snow persisting.
Above-normal precipitation in the eastern Mediterranean region and parts of the Middle East is also expected for the next couple of weeks, WMO said.
"Wherever you went there was wind and cold and wetness," Fatima Saleem al-Khalife, a 30-year-old living in a camp in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, told CNN.
CNN's Stephanie Halasz and Tamara Qiblawi contributed to this report.