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The Alps Snow thread Season 2013-14


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Synoptics

 

post-213-0-41776400-1391273603_thumb.gif

 

post-213-0-72454100-1391273555_thumb.gif

 

Usual GIFs for the week ahead, Click to animate - Taken From GFS run 12Hz Sat 1 Feb

 

Left 850HPa Temps from Sat 1 Feb to Fri 7 Feb ) Right 500HPa Pressure from Sat 1 Feb to Fri 7 Feb)

 

Synoptics pattern based on the above.

 

Since last week, the pattern has changed a bit, with more of a westerly/South westerly based pattern being established with the High Pressure previously over Scandinavia being edged East. However the Alps is still in between the two patterns to a certain extent, with times over the coming week having a SW low and at other times more of a Southerly flow.

 

This does mean that for the majority of the time, it should be rather mild, however a caveat, this time last week, I predicted that 850Hpa temps would stay below zero all week, but that turned out not to be the case, for the latter of the week, it turned somewhat milder than predicted.

 

This weekend, there is a SE flow over Eastern Alps from the Russian High, more of a NE flow in western parts. This veers to more of a SE flow by Monday associated with the High Pressure over Russia.

 

By midweek, the wind veers more to a South Westerly , so more of an Atlantic influence, this theme is forecast to continue until the weekend.

 

850HPa Temps
 

Western Alps – French Alps, Switzerland, Western half Italy and Germany Eastern Alps – Austria, Eastern half of Italy and Germany

 Saturday        [West] +2c  (S)  to +5c (NE)    [East] -2c (SE) to +10c (NW)	  Sunday		  [West] -3c  (NW) to +2c (SE)    [East] -2c (NW) to +3c (SW)		   Monday          [West] +1c   (S) to +3c  (N)    [East] -4c (SE) to +4c  (N)	   Tuesday         [West] -1c  (SW) to +2c (NE)	[East] -2c (SE) to +4c (NE)	   Wednesday	   [West] -2c   (S) to +3c  (N)    [East] -2c  (S) to +3c  (N)	Thursday	    [West] +2c   (E) to +5c (SW)    [East] -1c  (N) to +2c  (W)	   Friday		  [West] +1c   (S) to +9c  (N)    [East] +1c  (S) to +9c  (N)	  

Precipitation

 

post-213-0-36119200-1391277040_thumb.gif

 

Snow 1-3 day, then Snow 4-6

post-213-0-86858900-1391278059_thumb.jpg post-213-0-85845300-1391278065_thumb.jpg

 

Sunday - Moderate Precipitation at times, especially N Italy and Austria /Switzerland border. 1400m-1600m Freezing Level

Monday - Light/ Moderate Precipitation at times Italy, dry elsewhere,  1400m-1600m Freezing Level

Tuesday - Moderate Precipitation at times Italy and other southern districts, ,  1400m-1600m Freezing Level

Wednesday - Moderate Precipitation at times Italy, Heavy Precipitation into Western areas later, 1200m-1400m Freezing Level

Thursday - Precipitation clearing eastwards early, more moderate precipitation into West later, 1200m-1400m Freezing Level early, over 2000m later

Friday - Very heavy precipitation edging in from West, France initially and then Switzerland Freezing Level over 2000m, around 1000m as front passes through.

 

In Summary Decent Snowfalls possible over Southern and Western areas, drier the further North and East you go.

 

SUMMARY

 

A very messy week over the Alps, snow amounts possibly rising over higher slopes, but reducing over lower slopes. Perhaps also of a South and West , North and East split, the further south and west you are, the heavier any snow will be with the colder air, the Further North and West you are drier and milder at times. Northern Italy could be the place to be this week.

Edited by J10
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Morzine forecast.

 

http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Morzine/6day/bot

 

I think this forecast completely sums up this week, a lot of variety, there is some precipitation around, but at this low altitude, the precipitation type will vary considerably at times, rain at other times snow

 

If go up to Avoriaz level, it is a mostly snow week.

Should be an interesting week. Meteo France have the snow rain limit at mostly 800/900m for Tues /Wed and 1000m for Friday - though this could obviously change for the better or worse. Could be a lot of snow in the next week.

 

Regarding the link that you posted - as its GFS - it flip flops all over the place every 6 hours but from my on the ground perspective, the precipitation amounts it forecasts are not to be relied upon. I'm finding the Euro4 model to be a decent indicator of precip for our altitude of 1200m - for example it was the only model that predicted a very light snowfall for our area last Sunday/Monday, whereas every other model and forecast was going for a substantial fall and it also picked up that the higher snowfall would be to our south in the Savoie, which was very impressive.

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Just to add to my post above - here is what the links was suggesting for my altitude http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Chatel/6day/bot

 

2cm.

 

We have had 12cm so far and most since midnight - and all other forecasts, including the GFS raw data were suggesting 10 to 15cm at our altitude and 15 to 25cm for the upper half of the mountain. Not sure what SF.com is doing with the raw GFS data, but there is something wrong somewhere with the precip amounts it shows.

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Just to add to my post above - here is what the links was suggesting for my altitude http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Chatel/6day/bot

 

2cm.

 

We have had 12cm so far and most since midnight - and all other forecasts, including the GFS raw data were suggesting 10 to 15cm at our altitude and 15 to 25cm for the upper half of the mountain. Not sure what SF.com is doing with the raw GFS data, but there is something wrong somewhere with the precip amounts it shows.

 

 

try meteociel, it tends to have temperatures too low and overdoes the snow (this is for Wengen) but I find it the most reliable of any forecasts for that area. The Lauberhorn committee must as they use it in preference at times to the official Swiss forecast.

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I do find Precipitation very difficult to pinpoint for the Alps.

 

I tend to use a number of charts to produce the precipitation forecast.

 

1. The T+144 forecast on Wetterzentrale From GFS http://www.wetterzentrale.de/topkarten/fsgfsmeur.html

2. The SNow- forecast as above, which I have just started shwoing

3. The Precipitation forecast from NW Alps section.

 

Which would be recommended for the week, seeing as EURO4 is only for 48 hrs.

 

I can easily adapt future forecasts to reflect this.

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trying to forecast, even for locals, in the middle of high mountains is probably one of the most difficult forecast problems there is, that is beyond 24-48 hours away. Clouds develop/occur when nothing would suggest it to occur, or vice verca, they disappear, winds can be 180 degrees different only 10 miles apart and at the same elevation. Giving a basic idea of the weather pattern at above the mountain tops is the best way for beyond 72 hours in my view. Different localities are known for being favoured by somewhat different wind patterns at height.

Wengen for instance need an 850mb flow from between WNW and NNE, further back and not much falls from the sky no matter what the forecast. It also tends to give somewhat higher temperatures than more NW-N obviously will give. After 28 consecutive years I find it no more easier and talking once in a while to the avalanche institute staff on the Jungfrau, they feel much the same-which is comforting!

Edited by johnholmes
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I do find Precipitation very difficult to pinpoint for the Alps.

 

I tend to use a number of charts to produce the precipitation forecast.

 

1. The T+144 forecast on Wetterzentrale From GFS http://www.wetterzentrale.de/topkarten/fsgfsmeur.html

2. The SNow- forecast as above, which I have just started shwoing

3. The Precipitation forecast from NW Alps section.

 

Which would be recommended for the week, seeing as EURO4 is only for 48 hrs.

 

I can easily adapt future forecasts to reflect this.

Problem with snowforecast .com is that, even though it uses GFS data, it appears to bear no resemblance to the GFS precip data on the operational run. Its almost as though it appears to be using an ensemble mean, if that is possible - and if it is, then that is not going to work for precip / snowfall.

 

In the past (a few years ago) I always found it overestimated snowfall, however, there must have been some tweaks, as this season the opposite is the case and it bears no resemblance to reality (and I have been keeping a very close eye on all the forecasts for this part of France on our chatelweb.com website!)

 

edit - I agree re. precip forecasts for the Alps - especially more than 48 hrs away - it is virtually impossible to pinpoint amounts with any accuracy - however that Euro4 is good once its in range.

Edited by Chatel Snow
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I suggested Meteociel I meant meteocentrale !!

Thanks John.

 

This is the list I use for our particular location ... they often give conflicting amounts!!

 

- Meteo France Snowfall- Meteo France Prevision (has snow/rain limits)

- Meteo France Avalanche Bulletin

- Chamonix-meteo.com- Meteo Suisse text forecast- Meteo Suisse for Morgins

- Meteo-Alpes.org

- Euro 4, UKMO & GFS raw data charts

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A big thumbs up for that list. Cheers

 

I recognise the  Chamonix one, they used that in Avoriaz, when I went a few years back,

Edited by J10
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A big thumbs up for that list. Cheers

 

I recognise the  Chamonix one, they used that in Avoriaz, when I went a few years back,

The meteo-alpes one is a good one too.

 

The problem out here is that the one really really good forecast is one done locally by Meteo France which is basically a paid for fax bulletin - its quite expensive, but is a really good detailed forecast for the Haute Savioe. Because this fax is expensive to use over a period of time, and you are not allowed to copy it and post it online - then this is the reason why the cham meteo and meteo alpes websites exist - as they try and provide a free service for those in the mountains. I sometimes see the Meteo France fax pinned up at one of the lift stations here - but it is not available anywhere online (as far as I can see). Not even our very own wealthy tourist office in Chatel appears to be able to reproduce it, as they reproduce the cham meteo forecast on their website.

 

The closest I have come to finding a more basic graphical version of this meteo france fax is at the main Chamonix site - which puts this up every day at 7.30 am  http://www.chamonix.com/meteo,11,fr.html

Edited by Chatel Snow
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Well a beautiful day here in Morzine with clear skies an no cloud at all. The slopes are in good condition as well but the one down to morzine is a bit bare and slushy near the bottom as the sun has been shining on it for most of the day

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Hi all

 

Had a week in Chamonix last week, a plentiful supply of snow for the pistes,

was wearing a bit thin lower down though, obviously the town centre and shopping

areas had almost melted but on the outskirts it was still in much evidence.

 

Went over the border through the tunnel into Courmayeur, Italy and it was really

about the same there, plenty of good snow for the pistes but had partially melted

around the town lower down.

 

Also went over to Verbier in Switzerland and again the ski areas were very good.

 

All in all i enjoyed my alps trip very much, it would of been even better if i could have seen

snow actually falling in the daytime instead of only once overnight!!

 

Ah well, not to worry, at least i actually saw some snow so far this year,

better than the ghastly winter where having in the UK.

 

A few pictures i took from my trip.

 

Chamonix

post-14653-0-02081200-1391465236_thumb.j

Courmayeur

post-14653-0-54564700-1391465387_thumb.j

Courmayeur

post-14653-0-09240600-1391465707_thumb.j

Verbier

post-14653-0-31971700-1391465850_thumb.j

Edited by EMids WeatherWatcher
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Due to commitments, the update this weekend will be on Sunday,

 

Regular update from the Ski Club of GB

 

http://www.snow-forecast.com/overviews/tips_full

 

SNOW NEWS UPDATED 6 FEBRUARY 2014

 

INTRODUCTION More heavy snow in Italy and France this week means there is fantastic skiing in Europe at the moment.

 

AUSTRIA There was light snow at many of our featured resorts this week, and some variable weather, but mostly sunny skies on Thursday 6th February Solden (40/110cm) enjoyed around 20cm of fresh powder on the upper slopes overnight on Thursday. There were also prefect sunny skies during the day. There was challenging visibility at Obergurgl (80/190cm) during the start of the week and light snow. However, the skies cleared on Thursday leaving excellent snow conditions in the resort, particularly on piste. Some of the best conditions this week could be found in Lech (85/100cm), Zurs (85/100cm) and St Anton (40/110cm). They avoided some of the foggy weather a provided mostly clear skies and good skiing throughout the week.

 

FRANCE Heavy snow hit the French Alps on Thursday 6th February after scattered snow showers continued to improve conditions during the week. The Portes du Soleil enjoyed some of the best conditions on Thursday. Over 20cm of fresh powder fell at Avoriaz (160/230cm) and Chatel (80/170cm) overnight. There was also bright, sunny weather during the day. The Three Valleys also received around 20cm of new snow during the night on Thursday. Courchevel (106/140cm), Meribel (90/135cm) and Val Thorens (95/175cm) all provided great skiing under blue skies. The Southern Alps also have excellent skiing on offer thanks to heavy snow on Wednesday 5th February and Thursday. Isola 2000 (230/310cm) was hit by 35cm on Wednesday while Serre Chevalier (110/225cm) received 40cm.

 

SWITZERLAND There are good conditions at the moment after regular light dustings this week. Some of the best conditions can be found at Verbier (45/137cm) where there has been off-piste powder all week. 5cm of new snow on Thursday 6th February improved the snow cover further Saas Fee (102/345cm) received good snow fall on Thursday with around 15cm of powder making for a great day of skiing. Zermatt (48/290cm) is also in great shape. The resort enjoyed regular light dustings this week with another 5cm of new snow on Thursday.

 

ITALY Heavy snow continued to fall all week at our featured resorts with Arabba (220/320cm) forced to close their lifts for a few days. However, there was fantastic skiing on offer on Thursday 6th February when the lifts reopened to allow access to almost two metres of untouched snow. There was also heavy snow at Gressoney-la-Trinite (150/300cm) on Tuesday 4th February when 60cm of fresh powder hit the resort. Skiers and snowboarders were still enjoying fresh tracks under blue skies on Thursday Cervinia (130/400cm) received 40cm of powder on Tuesday and also experienced perfect ski weather on Thursday, along with most other resorts.

ANDORRA All four of our featured resorts enjoyed beautiful sunny skies on Thursday 6th February and excellent snow conditions. There was light snow at Pas de la Casa (130/210cm) and Soldeu (110/210cm) on Wednesday 5th February. About 5cm of fresh snow added to already excellent piste conditions. There was also a good week of skiing in the Vallnord region at Arcalis (140/210cm) and Pal/Arinsal (110/150cm).

 

GERMANY Sunny skies and good piste skiing was on offer at most of our featured resorts this week after light snowfall last weekend. There was perfect ski weather at Garmisch (90/185cm) on Thursday 6th February but there has been no new snow this month so far. The best piste conditions can be found on the upper slopes but the off piste is slightly patchy in places. Light snow at Berchtesgaden (10/60cm) however improved conditions on Wednesday 5th February. Sunny skies the following day made for decent piste skiing.

 

BULGARIA Our featured resorts are still experiencing their best conditions of the season so far thanks to last week's heavy snowfall. There has been no new snow at Bansko (30/100cm), Borovets (70/80cm) and Pamporovo (70/110cm) this week. However, mostly sunny skies during the week and decent on-piste skiing was on offer.

 

EUROPEAN WEATHER OUTLOOK Wintry weather is benefitting resorts across Europe and the weather is not forecast to dramatically change this weekend or next week. There could be some sunny spells but in general it will be cloudy and snowy. Austria may not receive as much snow as France, Italy and Switzerland, but there will be fresh snowfall across the country's ski resorts. The greatest snowfall in Austria is expected at the glacier skiing resorts of Pitztal, Kaunertal and Solden, where half a metre of snow is forecast to land by Friday 14th February. In France, the Pyrenean resorts of Cauterets and Bareges/La Mongie, and the linked area of Les Deux Alpes and La Grave in the south of the Alps, are expecting over 70cm of fresh snow at mid-mountain level by the end of next week. All of the French resorts we report on are forecast at least 25cm of new snow over the same period, and it is a similar situation across the Alps and Dolomites in Italy too. The Swiss resorts are scheduled to have great conditions over this period, with 30-70cm of fresh snow forecast. The new snow is not limited to the continent either. The Scottish ski areas are in superb condition, and more snow is forecast. Over 20cm of new snow is forecast to land by next Friday.

Edited by J10
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Huge snowfall in the Alps over the coming days, including today. But closer to home, the Scottish ski resorts have epic conditions too - Jo's blogged about it here

http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=news;storyid=5665;sess=

 

Indeed, at the right altitude the snow keeps piling on - lovely!. But I think altitude is an important factor to consider if you want to get the best from a ski holiday in the Alps this year. Your decision could mean lots of soft snow with great skiing on higher slopes & resorts, or heavy, wet snow (or even slush) on lower slopes & resorts. Looking at webcams today, there was rain on webcam lenses at 1,400 m in Feldberg, Germany, and at 1,300 m in Brixen im Thale, Soll, Austria. The 4-day forecast on the Obergurgl/Hochgurgl website (highest parish in Austria) published Friday 7/2/14 sums up the on-going influence of the weather systems driven in from the Atlantic: 

 

A very changeable and windy west- to south-westerly current will continue to determine the weather in our regions. On Friday night, new frontal systems will cross our regions and bring some precipitation. Further unsettled conditions will approach from the Atlantic and cross our regions in quick successions until Sunday morning. On Sunday, a strong westerly wind will result in changeable and partly sunny weather. On Monday, a stormy southerly foehn wind will set in at the mountains. Further frontal systems will approach from the Atlantic and result in continuously changeable partly showery weather conditions.

http://www.obergurgl.com/weather-forecast-winter

 

And the chart below from this evening's 12z ECM run for Friday 14th Feb shows the sort of 'mild' south-westerly flow that's not good for snow conditions on lower slopes.

 

Posted Image

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Latest Snow Depths

		    Upper Lower			   Last 7	  Piste       OffResort Name piste piste  Last snowed    days    Quality	  Piste   Lifts OpenAlpe d'Huez 205cm 100cm 31 Jan ( 2cm)   62cm      Fresh      Fresh  60 out of 70Tignes	  160cm  89cm 30 Jan ( 2cm)   22cm  Excellent  Excellent  76 out of 79Wengen	  110cm  35cm 27 Jan (15cm)   15cm       Good       Good  18 out of 19St Moritz   176cm 105cm 31 Jan (26cm)   31cm     Powder 	Powder  16 out of 22Mayrhofen    80cm  10cm 28 Jan (10cm)   20cm  Excellent       Good  25 out of 25Cervinia    310cm 140cm 31 Jan ( 5cm)   25cm      Fresh      Fresh  14 out of 14 

A lot of snow over many resorts this week, however some highish temps has meant that snow depths have not gone up as much as would otherwise have been expected.

 

Latest Snow Depths across the Alps

 

Quite a lot of new snow this week but struggling a bit low down in Mayrhofen.

		    Upper Lower			   Last 7	  Piste       OffResort Name piste piste  Last snowed    days    Quality	  Piste   Lifts OpenAlpe d'Huez 205cm 116cm 07 Feb (25cm)  53cm      Powder 	Powder  59 out of 70Tignes	  170cm  98cm 07 Feb (20cm)  37cm   Excellent     Powder  49 out of 79Wengen	  115cm  45cm 07 Feb (25cm)  38cm   Excellent     Varied  19 out of 19St Moritz   186cm 110cm 07 Feb ( 5cm)   5cm       Fresh      Fresh  20 out of 22Mayrhofen    80cm   0cm 28 Jan (10cm)   0cm        Good     Patchy  25 out of 25Cervinia    400cm 130cm 06 Feb (20cm)  25cm      Powder  Excellent   5 out of 14 
Edited by J10
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Synopticspost-213-0-71100900-1391955607_thumb.gif post-213-0-64305200-1391956059_thumb.gifThe dominant weather pattern this week remains very much a zonal theme from the West. The wind direction predominantly is from the South west, so never particularly cold. Quite mild to start the week, more especially in Southern areasHowever the wind direction veers more to a Westerly midweek, with 850HPA temps below freezing around midweek, before turning milder from around Thursday.Pressure is generally low, so rather unsettle giving the chance of decent precipitation at least to start the week, indication though of a pressure build towards the weekend, so perhaps turning a bit drier 

850HPA Temps

Western Alps – French Alps, Switzerland, Western half Italy and Germany Eastern Alps – Austria, Eastern half of Italy and Germany[code=auto:0] Sunday [West] +1c (S) to -3c (N) [East] -1c (S) to -3c (N)Monday [West] +3c (N) to -2c (S) [East] +3c (N) to -2c (S) Tuesday [West] +1c (S) to -3c (N) [East] 0c (S) to -3c (N) Wednesday [West] +1c (S) to -3c (N) [East] -1c (S) to -3c (N) Thursday [West] +4c (N) to -2c (S) [East] +4c (N) to -3c (S)Friday [West] +7c (N) to +7c (S) [East] +7c (N) to 0c (S)

Precipitation

 

post-213-0-96290300-1391957396_thumb.gif

 

Some moderate precipitation this week, perhaps more concentrated towards the North and West of the Alps.

 

Summary

 

A week where there is set to be furth moderate snowfalls over higher slope, but lower down, higher temps are likely to mean a reduction in snow conditions and amounts.

 

Edited by J10
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Hi all,

With this talk of a pattern change emerging around mid month here in the ok to a quieter spell....is this comfy from high pressure building over Europe?? I'm off skiing to morzine south east of France last week of feb. would be nice to see some snow falling from the sky!! Just wondered what pattern is emerging for this area?? Any help guys??

Thanks

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