27/12/2018: Today's Updates... 5.50pm...
The weather has been fine again here in Chatel today, though with more in the way of high cloud, so the sunshine has been hazy at times. It was mild on the mountain too, except in those shaded areas, eg parts of Linga. Conditions have deteriorated in some areas due to the mild temperatures and fragile snow cover. We have had plenty of good reports today from here and there in the PDS, but conditions in general remain disappointing, despite the amazing efforts of the piste management teams. Traffic, mildness and the absence of fresh snowfall or snowmaking are all having a negative effect.
This afternoon, we toured around the Linga and Super Chatel areas. The pistes were very varied, depending on their aspect, the amount of man made snow and their steepness. Many of the narrower paths had icy areas in the middle, with softer snow at the edges, however the general piste coverage in areas at the back of Morclan and from Ombriuex to Chalet Neuf are fragile as is parts of the piste by the Conche chair at Super Chatel. The situation is not going to improve in the next 7 days by the looks of it.
Potentially the best conditions are to be found first thing in the morning and in the quieter areas.
Regarding the prospects of snow or colder temperatures, there are some hints of a change from the models, but these changes are all potentially a week away. The latest GFS operational model run has the Atlantic blasting away the high pressure over France bringing rain or snow for the weekend after next. In complete contrast, the ECMWF model run this morning had a possible northerly and then easterly influence from about this time next week, with high pressure showing more resilience to the Atlantic weather systems. Both patterns could lead to an eventual improvement in conditions here in Chatel, however, the fact that the these major models are showing completely different scenarios does not bring much confidence and there is always a chance that we will continue in the kind of dry, no-mans land scenario that we are currently in.
Positives... there is snow to ski and board on. Early snow conditions good after overnight grooming.
Negatives... piste deterioration and the general snow quality on piste is poor for much of the day. Very busy on the pistes in general due to other ski areas being closed.
Photos below from this afternoon's tour - the views are always brilliant in this ski area!
The ECMWF model’s operational run, the final frames of which come out after our forecast update, is showing a really cold end to next week. IF it is continuing to show such charts tomorrow, then it will start to be of interest.
Bonjour from Chatel... today's updates will appear on this page.
The forecast page is expected to be updates today between 7.30am and 7.45am.
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