31/01/2019: Today's Updates... 6.50pm...
Today saw some classic powder conditions on the ski area and alot of snow appeared to have fallen, especially above 1500m. We were again surprised by the sheer depth of powder this morning and although helped by a bit of wind, the previous days tracks had again been eliminated in some of our favourite spots. It has been a great week and there is further good news...
Snow has started falling again here in Chatel this evening, wet snow in the village, but a promising start to what looks like a knife edge day tomorrow for the village elevations in terms of whether we see rain or snow. The snow forecast page this morning mentioned that there are other factors apart from the 0c isotherm level, which determine whether snow can fall at a particular elevation.
Normally, snow can fall approximately 300m below the position of the 0c isotherm, or freezing level as it is also known. So taking this very simplistic indication for tomorrow from the hi-res Arome model, we can see where snow might fall.
These are its predictions for the 0c isotherm over the next 24 hours: note that these elevations have come down a bit since this morning, which is a good sign...
6pm this eve: 1351m
Midnight: 1696m 2am tomorrow: 1811m
6am tomorrow: 1736m
9am tomorrow: 1426m
Midday tomorrow: 1474m
3pm tomorrow: 1593m
6pm tomorrow: 1526m
9pm tomorrow: 1444m
Using the basic 300m rule, we can see that snow might be marginal for the village at say 3pm tomorrow, but more likely at say 9am.
However, with snow, it is not that simple, as it can fall at both higher or lower elevations than the 300m rule suggests.
With tomorrow in mind, if precipitation is heavy and there is not much wind, then snow can fall at considerably lower elevations than would normally be expected. Some of the science behind this can be found on a blog post today on the Meteo Suisse website as they appear to think on their forecasts that this might be a factor tomorrow, with the lack of wind playing a key role, if we see a period of heavier precipitation.
We witnessed this effect in Saas Fee this Autumn, when a period of heavy rain and sleet turned to snow at elevations much lower than the automated forecasts were suggesting (300m to 400m lower), depositing 30cm of snow overnight in the village.
So, it should be an interesting day for the village tomorrow... with rain or snow or both? However, whatever happens in the village, slightly higher elevations should see yet another very nice top up... perhaps another 25cm to 30cm... we'll have a closer look at amounts on the forecast page tomorrow, with a snow report update before then, at about 6.30am...
Another cm fell since the last update before the weather brightened up, bringing the the totals as follow...
...16cm since last night... (of which 7cm has fallen since 7am today)
Amounts in the village since 7am yesterday = 26cm
Total in the village since Sunday = 75.5cm...
The weather has turned a little milder this afternoon, which we found after a fairly sensational couple of hours of powder skiing and riding on the ski area, with the snow quickly becoming heavier on the sunnier slopes. There was a strong wind high up, however, this was not an issue in the sector that we were in.
Photos from today below... this evening we'll take a look at the potential snow/rain limits for tomorrow. We mentioned on the snow forecast page this morning that there are other factors apart from the level of the 0c isotherm that can determine the snow/rain limit and coincidentally, Meteo Suisse have done a blog post on that very subject today, due to the uncertainties for tomorrow. More on this later...
This is getting silly now... another 4cm since last update and... still snowing...
...15cm since last night... (of which 6cm has fallen since 7am today)
Amounts in the village since 7am yesterday = 25cm
Total in the village since Sunday = 74.5cm
Just when we thought the drier weather had arrived, another snow shower have been bringing another spell of fairly heavy snow in the last half hour!
Update on accumulations when it clears...
Further snowfall since the last update, 2.5cm more, with drier weather now arriving, as can be seen in the photo below.
11cm of fresh snowfall since last night
Amounts in the village since 7am yesterday = 21cm
Total in the village since Sunday = 70.5cm
Bonjour - there has been more snow overnight!
8.5cm of fresh snowfall on the measuring surface this morning, with a few flakes still falling.
Amounts in the village since 7am yesterday = 17.5cm
Total in the village since Sunday = 68cm
Updates will appear on this page today and the forecast page is expected to be updated between 7.30am and 7.45am this morning.
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