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!

Transformation soon in the Alps?

Posted Wed, 30 Dec 2015 11:39:00

The ski season has got off to a poor start in the Alps due to mild and dry weather. The good news is a change looks likely and this should transform things in the coming weeks.

The view from Signal today shows again shows they’re doing a great job of keeping the pistes in decent nick and the weather looks glorious. However, it’s clear more snow is badly need, so when will it arrive?

signal_20151230

 

Soon! This morning’s GFS6z computer model run shows things changing quite dramatically during the early part of January. The snow forecast chart below is for 18:00 on Saturday 2nd January. White hatching shows snow and purple indicates heavy snow. That’s looking pretty encouraging and falls of 20cm or more are possible, although at lower levels some of this may fall as rain.

06_84_preciptype_alps

 

The GEFS ensemble snow forecast chart for the same time shows pretty good agreement between individual model runs. Look closely and you will see differences in terms of distribution and intensity of snowfall with the western Alps looking set to cop most of it at this stage. But if your resort doesn’t get much snow don’t despair because….

snow_90_ps_slp_alps

 

The synoptic pattern across western Europe is changing with pressure falling and disturbances bringing spells of precipitation. The details will change but the chart below for 03:00, Tuesday 5th January. Very heavy snowfall if this is the outcome.

06_141_preciptype_alps

Summary

Change is on the way for the Alps. The mild and dry weather of December is set to be replaced by unsettled and colder conditions. Heavy snow should arrive during the first third of January transforming the winter sports prospects in the Alps and Pyrenees!

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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.

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