Superb snow

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 Alps

Posted 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.

500hpa_372_ps_slp

 

 

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Previous Superb Snow

High pressure over Europe
Snow, snow and more snow
Blowtorch air mass in the Alps
Snow conditions get better
More snow for the Alps
Alpine snow drought is ending
Transformation soon in the Alps?
It’s mild out there!
New snow charts and ensemble forecasts
Hairdryer blowing in the Alps

Forecasts

16 day

Deterministic forecast updated 4 times every day. The quickest and easiest way to view a snapshot of the expected weather.

Probability

Up to 16 days ahead these use data from the GEFS ensemble forecasting system. Not resort specific but a fantastic tool for judging confidence levels and seeing the possible temperature and precipitation spreads.

LRF

The long range forecast updated daily is intended to give an indication of possible regional trends.

Weather charts

Like more detailed information? Check out the latest weather forecast charts for winter sports regions in Europe, North America and Japan. Updated every 6 hours, include guidance on freezing levels and expected snow fall.

Latest charts