15/11/2019: Today's Updates... Piste Preparations At PLJ... Trip To Barbossine...
The weather stayed fine this afternoon, with a bit more cloud knocking around the summits at times and these were the views from a trip to the top of Barbossine...
Not all the models have updated yet this evening, however, the theme of a milder spell arriving from midweek next week is still very much on the agenda. What won't be known for a couple of days yet is how mild it might become and whether it will be dry or whether there will be rain or snow.
Before then, there is the chance of another light snowfall on Sunday and there could be a dusting tonight.
It has brightened up nicely here in Chatel, with some lovely, snowy scenes to look at.
A trip was made to the bottom of Pre La Joux this morning to have a look at amounts of snow and if there had been any piste preparations.
Here was one of the views before setting off...
At the car park and bottom of the pistes at PLJ, the overnight fresh snow amounts seemed a touch less than in the village, which was a touch surprising.
However, there was some excellent news from this mini excursion... firstly, the recent snow making activity has produced a large mound at the bottom of the piste near to the lift...
... and beyond that mound, the piste crews had made a piste from the combination of natural snow and man made, with what looks like a healthy cover and the startings of a base.
The piste is obviously fairly narrow, and we didn't see what it was like further up, however, the fact that it has been able to have been made this low down (1300m-ish) bodes well for an early partial opening at PLJ at the end of the month The fact that the snow here has been bashed down and consolidated, using that more resilient mix of man made and natural snow, does mean it will be more resistant to any potential mild spell which might crop up from the middle of next week. Before then, we'll be looking for some more natural snow and some more snowmaking to improve things further.
As for the potential mild spell, it is still a long way off, and some charts have been more encouraging this morning in suggesting it might be a brief one - however - this chart from ECMWF shows the potential for a snow spoiler scenario, with a southerly flow being pumped towards the Alps. If the pattern shifts slightly, which it is likely to do, then we could end up with there being no mild spell, or we could end up with a hairdryer episode, so the period from the middle of next week to the following weekend looks very important...
Next update this evening.
Chart courtesy of meteociel.fr
The skies are clearing here in Chatel, so today is looking good.
One of the interesting features of the overnight weather was the foehn effect that kicked in during the early hours which saw temperatures suddenly surge upwards from just above freezing to around 7c and humidity tumble. This is the meteorological equivalent of switching on a hairdryer. Fortunately the period of foehn was shortlived and some precipitation arrived later in the night, bringing our light snowfall.
There is some good news this morning after a period of snow late in the night has brought a light snowfall to the village. The cover is fairly wet and uneven, with some surfaces seeing as much as 5cm of snow, with others very little. Current temperature is close to 0c, though the snow has stopped.
More snow has fallen than Arome was expecting and less than other models.
Update to follow in a couple of hours... photos from approx. 6am...