Winter Will Return Next Weekend!

16th November 2015

Here comes the white stuff: ‘Widespread heavy snowfall in the Alps is ‘very likely’ this weekend. The area of high pressure, that has dominated proceedings so far in November, will gradually pull away to the south-west allowing a more mobile Atlantic airflow to move across the Alps. This will then turn north-westerly, and eventually northerly over the weekend as successive fronts pile in and introduce increasingly cold and unstable polar air right across Western Europe.’ (www.weathertoski.co.uk)

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Despite recent worries, today confidence is growing that we will see a massive weather change in the Alps this weekend, meaning the SNOW IS ON ITS WAY! 🙂

Over the last month or so we have seen some snow fall in various resorts across the Alps, including a covering in Meribel and Val d’Isere, with much of it subsequently melting again at lower altitudes (sigh) – but this does tend to be the usual weather pattern at this time of year.  There has certainly been some more permanent snow cover higher up on the glaciers (e.g the Grande Motte in Tignes – see below) and those who have been lucky enough to get out for some pre-season training on the glacier have experienced some superb conditions already.

12195800_914298628606047_8798050842849350522_n   – The Grande Motte, Tignes last week.

Solaise -Solaise in Val d’Isere two weeks ago

But as the season approaches, the warmer weather and lack of snow generally has been a little disconcerting .. temperatures across Europe have been unusually warm, and we have had a few concerned phone calls regarding December bookings .. will there be enough snow??!

We have, however, been reassuring guests that it IS completely normal at this time of year to see the slopes uncovered.

And there’s good news .. don’t panic!!

As you may have seen, it looks like winter is going to return to the Alps next weekend, and in a BIG way. There will be a few more days of fairly mild and dry weather, but then heavy snow storms are forecast to hit.

Most resorts will remain dry until Friday at which point a ‘serious’ weather front will arrive bringing with it some big storms and plenty of snow – hurrah!

The snow gods are working in our favour, and it looks like all the ‘signs’ that is is going to be a cold and ‘epic’ winter (red berries on the trees etc etc) might just be right.

What’s more, we have one of the strongest ‘El Niño’ winters in history predicted (stronger than the strongest one recorded in 1997 apparently), which will bring very cold temperatures that will help the snow conditions enormously and make any artificial snow created last longer. Today they have started pumping out the snow cannons in Meribel – which only occurs when the temperature has dropped low enough for them to function – so this is certainly a good sign that the cold weather is taking a hold (the 3 Valleys have some of the finest and heavily invested in snow-making systems).

So, while we are not particularly looking forward to the severe weather warnings set for the UK this winter due to this El Niño –  its effects in the Alps are a whole different matter. Bring on the snow.

cache_2460707046Estimated Snowfall in the Alps between now and Sunday