• The Chatel Snow Report

11/12/2019: Today's Updates...


There is 4.5cm of fresh snowfall at our location here in Chatel just under 1200m this evening, with snow currently falling lightly. Further snowfall is expected overnight and also for a time tomorrow morning, so there is the chance of some very useful quantities, before yet more snow arrives tomorrow night.

Next update will be early tomorrow.


Snow of varying intensities has been falling in the village this afternoon, with the first wet flakes arriving soon after 3pm. Currently snowing lightly. There will be an update on accumulations during the evening. Current temperature near to 0C.


The weather is cloudy here in Chatel this morning, with thicker cloud than envisaged, so any hints of early brightness have generally disappeared. There's a couple of photos at the bottom of this post with the view across the village at 10am.

Snowfall is still expected later in the day, which we will obviously be following closely and reporting on.

Before then, here is a look a little bit further ahead and to start off, the chart below, which is from the excellent www.meteociel.fr is from the UK Met Office Euro 4 model, showing forecast fresh snowfall up to 7am on Friday. This includes the snowfall of later today and tonight, however, it shows the potential for some very healthy snow accumulations before further snow falls during the day on Friday and Friday night. Although there remains some mixed messages from the models, the period up to early Saturday, does have the look of seeing a potentially very significant snowfall event.

Our morning forecast over on ChatelWeb discussed the issue regarding the arrival of milder air for Saturday and the uncertainty regarding where the snow/rain limit will rise to during the day. This can be explained, in part, with the help of the charts below.

Firstly, here is the Met Office forecast chart for midnight on Friday. Note the generally westerly flow across France and the centre of an area of low pressure over the far southeast of the UK. Where it says "L 975" - below that centre of the low, is an area of milder air between a warm and cold front known as a warm sector and it is this slice of milder air which is expected to head towards our region as we head into Saturday morning.

Here is another chart from the a similar timeframe, but from the GFS model, showing that warm sector in terms of the height of the 0c isotherm. The line marked 546 is always an important one and it can also be seen (if you looks carefully) on the Met Office chart above and this marks the boundary between snowfall at reasonably low elevations on the ski area and much milder air, with a much higher snow/rain limit.

At the moment, it looks as though we will be affected by some of this wedge of relatively milder air on Saturday, but the things we will be watching for over the next day or so, are any signs that this milder wedge might get squeezed out and whether the pattern shifts just a touch southwards, which would keep the precipitation as snow to lower elevations in our area. These are possibilities, but the probability at the moment is for the snow to turn to rain for a time at elevations on the lower half of the ski area, with perhaps a snow/ rain limit as high as 1900m for a time - higher if we get really unlucky, or lower if things shift slightly.

As a large amount of snow could fall before the arrival of the milder air, adding to the accumulations we already have - which are excellent above 1600m and improving rapidly lower down, then any period of rain should hopefully not make too much difference to the overall situation.

It looks like being a very interesting few days... and here are those photos from 10am.


Bonjour from Chatel- where there is a temperature inversion in the place this morning as the air is now a little less cold higher up - with -4c in the valley and temperatures nearer to freezing in the village at 1200m - details on today's weather will be posted the snow forecast page at http://www.chatelweb.com/chatel_snow_forecast.php - which should be online around 8am, followed by further updates on this page today.

How you can help this season... you will notice on some pages that there is a PayPal tip/donation box, eg on the "About Us" page, where you can send us a tip, if you like what we are doing. There is no obligation to do so, but any donations will help the running costs of this site during the winter season. This will also give you access to the WhatsApp group - if you wish to join.

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Update: 1.30pm: Overnight snowfall brought up to 6cm to the village - with less on other surfaces and alot of it has now thawed at this elevation. It was interesting to see more snow a few miles away