03/01/2020: Today's Updates... Day 23...
As brief look at the models - firstly, Arome has downgraded precipitation amounts tonight to practically nothing, however, a dusting remains a possibility. The GFS model has churned out another dry and rather mild run out to mid month, so overall, very little has changed since this morning's forecast update. The ECMWF update is not out, but it produced a mild run this morning out to 10 days.
On the mountain, it felt breezier at times and chillier today, though the extra cloud did mean some lower pistes softened and thawed a little, however, the noticeable aspect was how much quieter it was. This was evident after spending some hours this afternoon in the Barbossine sector, which was deserted at times on the pistes to the mid-station.
Piste conditions are deteriorating in places, as there's a few more stony bits appearing, however, the volume of traffic is lowering and so there should be some very decent skiing and boarding conditions to be found over the weekend and into next week. Daytimes are set to become really rather mild again from Sunday onwards, lasting right through next week.
As already discussed on this morning's snow forecast, there is a blip in the dry period expected this evening, with a dusting of snow possible and perhaps even a cm or 2 higher up.
This morning's model runs were a disappointment - if it is fresh snow and powder that you are looking for, with the northern hemispheric weather pattern seemingly reluctant to release us from a mostly mild and mostly dry outlook. There is the chance of some further relatively insignificant incursions of precipitation next week, but these have a generally rather mild look about them.
On the plus side, the weather will be fine at times, making days in the mountains really pleasurable and there is plenty of snow on the majority of the ski area, which is being maintained expertly each night by the large fleet of piste bashers.
Snow conditions are expected to remain varied, with plenty of good skiing and boarding to be found, aided by overnight piste maintenance, with increasing amounts of scraped and icier areas as the period without a genuine top up of natural snow continues.
For those about to embark on a trip, the area will become much quieter after this weekend and there are signs of less people on the ski area already today - with the queue on the road to Linga much smaller and the car parks filling up more slowly - and even the bottleneck at the Linga telecabine has been less of an issue this morning!
One area of improvement this season has been the signage for the increasingly popular snow shoe trails. An example of one of the new signs is shown below and all the trails are now well marked and easy to follow. So, for a more leisurely, slower paced day, with breathtaking views, a stroll along the trails is highly recommended and can also be rewarded by a drink or food at spots such as Chalet Theo or further up at Mouet. Both have large outside seating areas where you can soak up the sun and the scenery. Several of the photos on this report this week have been taken at or near Mouet.
Bonjour from Chatel, where it is another dry start to the day with a slight temperature inversion in place in the valley, however, air temperatures are a little above 0c at 1200m. There is a tiny bit of snow forecast this evening...
...more info will be posted on today's forecast page at... http://www.chatelweb.com/chatel_snow_forecast.php - which is normally online around 8am or earlier, followed by further updates on this page today.
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