• The Chatel Snow Report

26/11/2019: Today's Updates... Mild Today / Snow Still In The Forecast...


News just in - Avoriaz is opening 4 lifts this weekend!


Just a very brief update this evening, with the main message being that it looks like the snow / rain limit is going to hover around 1600m during tomorrow and for a period on Thursday. Lower areas may see some flakes if there is any heavy precipitation, but the first part of this rain and snow event looks like only benefiting the upper half of the ski area. Thereafter, things should become more interesting lower down, but more on this on the first of several potential updates which are scheduled for tomorrow.

8.35am: There is plenty to get through this morning so starting with the bad news...

It is probably not surprising but the opening weekend for part of the PLJ sector of the Chatel ski area has been put back December 7th / 8th. Despite the pistes holding up well under the recent mild onslaught, this seems a sensible decision.

The weather is set to be very mild today with the 0c isotherm rising above 3000m (ouch), so there will be further deterioration of the snow pack, especially tonight, under cloudier skies. The effects of the mild spell can be seen on the following montage.

The bottom photo is from Saturday morning, as the foehn was kicking in, the middle photo is Saturday afternoon and the top photo is from this morning.

Rain and snow is expected to arrive overnight, however, the highest resolution models suggest any useful snowfall will be for the very highest part of the ski area during tomorrow, as by the time the predicted chillier air arrives, the first batch of heavier precipitation will already have passed through. So, at the moment, for the period up to Wednesday 7pm, no big improvement in conditions on most elevations of the ski area is expected tomorrow, with perhaps a light covering for the upper half of the ski area.

The better news this morning, is that further precipitation is expected on Wednesday night / Thursday, with the snow/rain limit coming down as we see the arrival of slightly colder air and at some point there does appear to be the chance of a period of sustained snowfall, bringing a useful contribution to the ski area. Friday sees the trend to colder weather continue, with further snow showers for all elevations of the ski area and then, after a mostly fine Saturday, there is the chance of snowfall overnight and into Sunday. This latter period is highly uncertain, and could easily be enhanced or go down the pan, but some models have suggested the chance of a significant snowfall.

In terms of amounts of precipitation from the period from tomorrow until Sunday night, there could be really quite alot, however, some of that - ie - Wednesday morning's precipitation, is likely to be of rain... but, that chance of some significant accumulations of snowfall for the ski area remains a genuine possibility for the period up until Sunday night. Some luck will still be needed - as always!

To finish off, here are some charts from www.meteociel.fr

Firstly, here is the hi-res Arome view on snowfall up to Wednesday evening... which is far as this model goes out to at this stage...

Contrast the above graphic with the Arpege model version, which is not as high a resolution and shows more snowfall.

...which results in a potentially very over optimistic scenario for a few days time!

This chart not to be taken too seriously, but it does highlight the potential for a lot of precipitation over the period, which is something that the GFS model is also seeing.

There will be plenty to keep an eye on and discuss over the coming days...

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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