• The Chatel Snow Report

29/11/2019: Today's Updates... Fresh Snowfall...


The weather has been a little underwhelming since the last update with not much in the way of any kind of precipitation in the village, until the last hour when there has been some sleet, which should be falling as snow over much of the ski area. Hopefully this will turn to snow again in the village, before it becomes drier overnight. Tomorrow is still looking like being a beautiful day and it will be nice to see the sunshine and blue skies again!

Looking ahead to Sunday, and there are some pretty big differences between the models this evening regarding snow/rain limits and where the 0c isotherm will be sitting. So, rather than speculate now on that situation, it might be best to wait until tomorrow morning, after the overnight model runs have come out.

Will update again this evening, if some snowfall arrives at 1200m, otherwise, the next update will be bright and early tomorrow morning.


Chalet Transfers are the first sponsors for our snow forecast page, which is due to begin on Sunday 1st December. Huge thanks to them... they provide shared and private airport transfers to Chatel and the Abondance Valley.

Get a quote for your airport transfer to Chatel at www.chalettransfers.com


As reported earlier, we made a trip today to PLJ, after picking up lift passes at a very friendly Vonnes ticket office. You will see from the photo posted earlier, that the Rochassons piste is still skiable to the bottom, as it has been for some time now and there was a few cm's of very wet, fresh snow on top. It is not full width yet, but the cover on the pisted section is good. The large cannon mound near the bottom is still there, to provide the snow for the run in to the Pierre Longue lift. The resort intends to open this sector on December 7th, so with the potential for some further snowfall this afternoon and evening, along with the chance of snow on Sunday, it is looking like it could be good to go.

One of the ski tourers at PLJ passed on a couple of photos from higher up (thanks Helen), where in excess of 40cm has fallen above Plaine Dranse. As the cover above 1650m was already generally OK on piste in this sector, before the recent snowfalls, it does mean that the upper half of this sector looks as though it is now secure - in terms of snow cover for December.

Lower areas still need snow and there may be a few cm's this afternoon and evening, as showers affect the area once again, with the snow/rain limit hovering close to the village. Clearer weather is then expected overnight, so there is the potential for a piste freeze, which is good news, followed by a fine and increasingly mild day tomorrow. Avoriaz is opening a few lifts this weekend, and Saturday's weather looks good for them over there.

Here are the Arome model's charts for snowfall from 6am to midday today...

Charts from www.meteociel.fr

...from 6am through to early tomorrow, which suggests some more snow to come.

Sunday is expected to see a period of snowfall, potentially for all elevations of the ski area here in Chatel, however, quantities are still a bit up in the air at the moment. Sunday's snowfall will be covered by out first early morning forecast of the season, so lets hope for good news.

Looking ahead and below are some charts from the 00z model runs this morning. These show more of a high pressure influence this week, with low pressure to the south or southwest, but not bringing any precipitation to this area, with daytime periods becoming milder for the second half of the week. The last 2 charts - for the 192hr timeframe, shows the difference in modelling between the GFS and ECMWF for later in the week. The GFS model delays any return of unsettled weather and the chance of snowfalls until after the chart shown below - to around the 8th or 9th of December, whereas, the ECMWF model suggests an earlier arrival of some potential snowfall, perhaps on opening day on the 7th.

Charts from www.meteociel.fr

So, a fine spell is on the way, followed perhaps by a return to something more wintry again for the weekend of the 7th/8th.

Thanks again for those sending tips today! Currently the snow/rain limit is close to the village and we have seen some more flakes in the last hour, but no sustained period of snow at 1200m since early this morning.


Just back from a trip to PLJ... report update this afternoon... photo from the bottom of the piste. Many thanks to those sending PayPal tips today!!!


The early excitement has been tempered this morning, as the period of heavier precipitation eased, with the snow turning to rain in the village again. The hi-res models are suggesting a period of lighter precipitation or drier spells, this morning with the 0c isotherm rising to 1650m, before the precipitation returns this afternoon and evening, which should see the snowline returning to the village. Whether it pans out like that, remains to be seen, but we will be updating during the day. Photo from a short while ago...


Bonjour from Chatel - it is snowing this morning at 1200m! Updates to follow through the day...

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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