29/12/2018: Today's Updates... 5.55pm...
Day 15 Of The 2018/19 Chatel Ski Season:
It has been another lovely day, with some high cloud to finish, but it has been generally beautifully sunny. The snow on the pistes continues to be very varied, but again, the PLJ and Linga areas are proving themselves as being about as snow sure as you can get at these relatively modest elevations, and if you catch a piste at the right time, it can provide some good skiing and boarding.
Unfortunately the models keep churning out blocked scenarios - by which we mean the Atlantic weather systems which bring our snowfalls are being blocked by high pressure. The blocking is in the wrong place for us to see significant snowfalls. The GFS 6z run failed to offer any significant snow right through its run to the 13th January and the 12z run is similarly poor in terms of fresh snowfall. The ECMWF model this morning offered very little fresh snow for the whole of its run out to 10 days, but did offer some conditions for snowmaking which would improve conditions on the pistes that are open.
Although these models may end up being incorrect, they do show the danger of the current weather pattern. Conditions might trend colder, but it might end up being cold and dry.
Photo below from a trail run this afternoon - in areas where we would normally be skiing and boarding...
Various reports coming in today from readers of the site, of good snow conditions in parts of the area, on what is another lovely day. So, yes, there are good stretches to be found at times in the areas which are open and the link to Morgins opened today, though it does involve a chair download. Today should be a relatively quiet day in terms of what is expected over the coming days in what is traditionally the busiest few days of the winter season. Due to other areas being unable to open, more people than normal are expected here in Chatel. So the usual advice of skiing or boarding early and at lunchtime, should see the periods with less crowds.
As for the arrival of the significant snowfalls that we are all craving for, there has been little progress on that front so far today and the GFS operational model runs have been cover your eyes stuff if it is snow you are after. We await for convincing signs of a change from the models, with the best scenarios currently on offer involving the arrival of colder air from midweek next week, but with very little in the way of fresh snow. The colder temperatures would be very welcome to enable snow making to start again - however - this won't help the areas which are not covered by the cannon.
Bonjour from Chatel. The temperature inversion is more noticeable this morning, under the clearer skies, with temps near -5C in the valley, but although the pistes will have re-frozen overnight, temperatures are not low enough to allow widespread snow making on the majority of the ski area.
Looks like being a nice day - forecast page update at 7.30am this morning with a hunt for some snowy charts...
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