Our regularly updated blog discusses the weather prospects for the major winter sports regions. Like incomprehensible jargon and meteorological babble? Then you've come to the wrong place!
Hairdryer blowing in the AlpsPosted Tue, 15 Dec 2015 17:04:41
There has been some precipitation in parts of the Alps today but the weather isn’t looking promising for the Christmas period. Unfortunately a very mild and mostly dry south westerly air stream (the hairdryer) will be blowing across the Alps in the coming days and this may last for a good while.
Freezing levels probably climb to between 3000m and 4000m and this is very mild for the time of year. Even very high altitude resorts, such as Val Thorens at 2300m, will be below the freezing level. The high temperatures as well as melting existing snow cover restrict the scope for artificial snow making. It’s a lose lose situation unfortunately.
When will change come?
As you may have heard a strong El Nino event is taking place in the Pacific and this is impacting the weather around the world. In Europe it seems to increase the chances of high pressure areas building over the Alps region and becoming stubbornly persistent during the first half of the winter. It’s not a certainty and things can change quite quickly but at the moment it looks as though high pressure could hold on well into the new year.
The ‘postage stamp’ chart below shows forecast pressure patterns for Wednesday 30th December from today’s GEFS6z ensemble computer model output. Each stamp represents one computer model run in the GEFS ensemble. Most of the individual runs show high pressure persisting over the Alps and that means confidence in this being outcome is quite high despite the forecast being for 15 days ahead. Fingers crossed for a change to a colder and more unsettled pattern in January but patience looks may be required.
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