• The Chatel Snow Report

16/12/2019: Today's Updates... Day 5 Of The 2019/20 Season...


Here’s an update from one of our WhatsApp group members who was on the ski area today... many thanks!!!

“Wind was warm this afternoon generally but for example, La Belete green run down from Plaine Dranse felt like you were back in a fridge! The snow factory was running at about 3 pm so presumably that pocket was cold enough! The bottom of PLJ wasn’t that bad snow wise when we left, the bottom of the piste was holding up well. It was busy because they’d shut the top lifts so the path from Pierre longue to the PLJ chair was showing some signs of wear but I suspect that with some grooming tonight they will sort that out.”


The weather has been relatively kind so far today in terms of temperatures in the village as it has not gone super mild yet and so far, temperatures appear to have been lower than forecast - which is good news. The wind has continued to disrupt the upper part of the ski area and a foehn is expected to blast along the valley from St. Maurice to Monthey and Aigle tonight and it is the overnight period when we may see more of an effect - however - its intensity is impossible to gauge.


The wind has been increasing at higher elevations this morning with the upper lifts closing, with Les Combes the most recent lift to shut - so the only chairs at PLJ operating at the time of this update are Rochassons and the 2 bottom chairs. The Linga telecabine and L'Echo Alpin have also shut.

Temperatures are edging up in the village, however the valley bottom remains under 3c at present.


More cloud than expected this morning and not too mild at the village elevation yet, with the valley bottom still seeing temperatures near to 0c.


Our ftp access to our server is out of action this morning, which means we cannot update the forecast website - so here is a version of it below...

Chatel Snow Forecast: Monday, 16th December 2019: 08.00hrs...

Important Notes:

This remains an experimental forecast and should be treated with caution. You can learn more about this forecast at the bottom of the page.


Welcome to the forecast page for the winter 2019/20 season. Updates should be made daily from now on, online at 8am.

Headline Summary: After A Touch Of Frost - Very Mild Weather Expected.

General Situation: The latest situation on the snow cover in the area can be found over on the snow report pages...

Bonjour from Chatel - after some clear skies have brought a re-freeze to the pistes overnight, some very mild weather is expected over the coming days. The reason for the mild weather is that air is being pumped into the area from a long way south, bringing a 0c isotherm of over 3000m later today - which could reach 3400m! - and continuing the noticeable daytime thaw, which began at lower elevations in the early hours of Saturday morning. Since then, snow has been melting steadily in the village, halted overnight with a slight temperature inversion, however, this thaw is set to proceed noticeably during the first half of the week and will cause a marked deterioration for the pistes on the bottom third of the ski area.

This very mild air is expected to be enhanced by a foehn effect and there remains the chance of this foehn effect becoming strong. As was mentioned yesterday, foehn effects differ from valley to valley and it looks as though the wind direction which brings the strongest foehn influence in this valley is one from approximately the south-southeast or southeast. The latest models suggest we may see this effect arriving tonight and tomorrow, so although it is set to be generally very mild in this area, there is also a chance that we may see a period of quite intense foehn hairdryer effect - with a substantial rise in temperature and a fall in humidity in a very short space of time. This is totally unwanted at any time of the ski season, but particularly unwanted when some of the pistes are in a fragile state due to thin snow cover, hence the reason for the potential issues for the lowest part of the ski area. There is also a chance that we may avoid the worst of the foehn - so there will be plenty to keep an eye on during the next couple of days on the snow report site. Unfortunately, the rest of the week continues this mild theme of weather... yuk!

As for the return of winter snowfalls, there remains some hints that there could be some snowfall arriving later in the day on Friday and into Saturday, however, what that would be followed by is the area of greatest uncertainty this morning...

The Forecast: Today: Monday 16th December 2019:

Today's Avalanche Level - The bulletin issued by Meteo France at 4pm yesterday for the Chablais area for today, forecasts an avalanche level of 2 to 3 for the ski area. A Level 3 is regarded as a high or considerable risk of avalanche. Note that these forecast levels can change at short notice or be different on a local level... So, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Today's Weather: 

After the early frost, a fine and increasingly mild day is expected, with sunshine, perhaps hazy at times, with variable amounts of high cloud coming and going. Skies partly clear overnight. Remaining dry throughout. Possible foehn effect arriving this evening or overnight, bringing exceptionally mild air.

Freezing Level: 

Early temperature inversion for the valley and a snowpack re-freeze for the ski area. Theoretical 0c isotherm at 3000m at 10am, 3100m at 1pm, rising to between 3300m and 3400m this evening and remaining above 3000m overnight. Some shaded slopes and valley areas staying cold for a time today, though all areas are expected to be mild if the foehn kicks in during the period.


Not much wind lower down but higher elevations may see a noticeable southwest or southwesterly wind at times. Note that due to the topography of the area, wind strengths can and do vary considerably from lift to lift and from piste to piste.

Expected Snowfall At 1200m: From 7am today until 7am tomorrow:

​Forecast Range: 0cm to 0cm

Forecast Amount: 0cm

Expected Snowfall At 1800m: From 7am today until 7am tomorrow:

Forecast Range: 0cm to 0cm

Forecast Amount: 0cm

The Forecast: Tomorrow: (Tuesday 17th December 2019):


Mostly fine with hazy sunshine and variable amounts of high cloud. A very mild foehn wind is possible. Remaining dry with variable amounts of cloud overnight.

Freezing Level: 

Generally between 2800m and 3000m. Whether there is a temperature inversion wil depend on wind strengths and how clear the sky will be - so it is a possibility, though there may still be a foehn influence which would mean a mild night for the valley.


Strong winds from a southerly quarter are still possible on the upper ski area at times - wind strengths highly uncertain at this stage, with noticeable differences across the ski area.

Expected Snowfall At 1200m - Period From 7am Tuesday to 7am Wednesday :

Forecast Range: 0cm to 0cm

Forecast Amount: 0cm

Expected Snowfall At 1800m: From 7am Tuesday to 7am Wednesday :

Forecast Range: 0cm to 0cm

Forecast Amount: 0cm


Mild and dry on Wednesday with temperatures perhaps becoming very mild again by day, with bright conditions and variable amounts of cloud and less wind higher up. Thursday could see a continuation of the mild and dry theme, though with more wind. Overnight into Friday may see a change, with an increase in cloud. At some stage of Friday, rain and snow may arrive with perhaps a fall of snow for most elevations of the ski area on Friday night, however, this remains in the "possible" category at the moment.

​Extended Outlook (6 to 11 day period): Saturday 21st December to Thursday 26th December.

Perhaps some snowfall to start Saturday 21st with the chance of further precipitation to follow on the 22nd, however, snow / rain limits are very uncertain at this stage, as is the evolution of the pattern beyond this point.


Bonjour from Chatel, where there has been a touch of frost in the village and valley with air temperatures nudging below freezing, which is good news as the clear skies will also have brought a re-freeze to the pistes.

Some very mild air is expected today and tomorrow with some models showing the potential for some exceptional temperatures, enhanced by a foehn effect, so there will be plenty to keep an eye on today.

... more info on this will be posted on today's 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.

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12/04/2021: Today's Updates...

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