• The Chatel Snow Report

25/11/2020: The Morning After The Night Before...

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

Update 9.20am:

The prospects for snowfall - or rather the lack of them, are of secondary importance this morning, after last night's announcement from President Macron. During an address to the nation, he suggested that French ski resorts would not be allowed to open for the Christmas and New Year holiday period, with a date in January the more likely scenario. Although this decision is yet to be confirmed formally, it has dealt a hammer blow to the resorts and those whose livelihoods depend on them. Bars, cafes and restaurants may be closed until January 20th, so it could be the case that ski resorts would open then, but we await confirmation over the coming days.


Details of the relaxation of the current confinement are as follows:


From this Saturday, November 28th:

- Confinement loosened, but continues...

- All shops can reopen.

- The 1km, 1 hour exercise rule ends, replaced by a three hours a day, 20km from home rule.

- Outside extra-curricular activities at schools can restart.

- A certificate will still be required for all travel outside of the home


From December 15th - if health targets such as daily infection rates are below 5000 ...

- Confinement ends and certificates to leave home are not required.

- Travel resumes but large public gatherings not allowed. Private gathering OK.

- Nationwide 9pm to 7am curfew (which is expected to be lifted on December 24th and 31st)

- Indoor extra-curricular school activities can restart.

- Cinemas reopen.


Phase 3 : January 20th depending on infection rates remaining below 5000 per day.

- Reopening of restaurants and cafés, gyms and leisure centres

- Curfew ends


Ski Resorts - expected to open at some point in January - details to be confirmed.


So, although there is some good news in the fact that some restrictions are being lifted, there are many unanswered questions, such as will the Swiss side of the PDS open? Will rando snow activities be allowed? What happens if infection rates creep above 5000 during January, as a result of the easing of Christmas restrictions?


We should know more over the coming days...


Prospects For Snow:

There remains little prospect of significant snowfall within the next 10 days, however, the charts are starting to settle into a pattern change which could mean some colder air arrives next week, which would at least enable the snow making operation to commence on a bigger scale. Some charts do suggest the arrival of winter beyond 10 days, however, these need to start showing within the 7 day timeframe for there to be any confidence in such an outcome.


Below are the outlook charts from this morning's main model runs from www.meteociel.fr

Note the high pressure over UK potentially ending up over Scandinavia with some sort of blocking pattern likely.


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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