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Worldwide Mountain & Snow Sports Discussion 2016/17


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It's been an absolute incredible day in this part of the Alps @gareth moo. A real treat for a weather loving, mountain loving addict like me!! It's now 24 hours since my last post and this evening (Mo

Temp down to -19c last night in the nearby valley town of Tamsweg. Currently -10c on the mountain. Picture looking SSW with the Ankogel Group in the background. The runs you see are just one side of t

Great reading all these plans and photos, thank you all. I 'hope' to do my usual in mid Jan after the Lauberhorn for maybe 6-7 days gentle skiing. Not bad at 78 if I manage it!

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1 hour ago, carinthian said:

Guten Morgen from the summit of our local ski mountain. Looks like another sunny day to come all thanks to Euro High.

 

C

15492330_10154022097472536_7708822719763951072_n.jpg

great picture and the moon in all its glory for a bonus

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3 hours ago, carinthian said:

That's the black run into the village and well prepared. Ready for the first run of the day.

 C

15440475_10154865315713628_8455204742888505851_o.jpg

3 hrs later and no further follow up posts. I assume he didn't make it. :nonono:

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22 hours ago, svalji said:

Despite the warm temperatures and snow drought conditions in Val Thorens have been excellent. Colder for last couple of days so the artificial snow makers have been working hard! I must say, this is the place to be for those wanting to make a trip early in the season!

IMG_9836.JPG

Snow cannons are increasingly important  to the Alps these days.

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On 14/12/2016 at 09:42, Blessed Weather said:

Is there a Santa after all - the first 'proper' Alps-wide snow falling on Xmas Day??

GFS 850 Dec14 for Xmas Day.pngGFS Precip Dec14 for Xmas Day.png

I've been in a state of shock and denial lately, watching all that lovely early November snowfall melt away under a mild high pressure block and thinking "not two seasons running - surely?" Finally today the GFS 0z shows the high pulling away west and the pattern with sufficient amplitude to drive fronts far enough south to reach the Alps. I know, it's one run and it's fantasy island..... but the experts have been talking of developments the other side of the World driving more amplitude around this time, so let's hope it's the sign we've been waiting for and the model runs actually start producing even better charts from here on.

Because like many, I'm off to the slopes in early January (three generations of family off to the low level German resort of Feldberg) and am desperate for it to be snowy! Everything crossed!!

P.S. A warm welcome to @durhamgrad and @hammy_ire. :good:

This reminds me of the heavy snowfalls on Boxing Day 2014, which transformed ski conditions but also caused widespread travel chaos across France.

http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2014/12/27/premieres-neiges-dans-19-departements_4546662_3224.html

 

 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, J10 said:

Snow cannons are increasingly important  to the Alps these days.

Very, very true Julian. There's been a discussion in the Model thread today about what's causing increasing frequency of stubborn High pressure over Europe (which is apparently subject to ongoing studies). So it would appear that the ability to make artificial snow during these prolonged dry spells is becoming a vital weapon in the battle to maintain skiing on low-level pistes.

I captured a great example at the Austrian resort of Ehrwald today (and it's a scene being repeated right across the Alps at the moment):

Early in the morning and there's a nice mound of snow generated by a cannon: Ehrwald 15 Dec 11.15.jpg

By lunchtime the piste bashers were pushing it around the run: Ehrwald 15 Dec 13.15.jpg

And by mid afternoon the piste basher was tidying up their efforts to give a nicely groomed run: Ehrwald 15 Dec 14.45.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, J10 said:

This reminds me of the heavy snowfalls on Boxing Day 2014, which transformed ski conditions but also caused widespread travel chaos across France.

It was Sat 27th Dec, I remember it well ***shudder***. 

We flew into Chambery around Sat lunchtime after flying around for a bit in a queue of planes trying to land. After the first got down, on it's 3rd attempt we were told, the rest went in one after another quick style. It was raining heavily at the airport, but with wet snow lying. Chaos ensued as the transfer buses were all messed up but eventually after a fair wait we got ushered onto one. We got about 5 miles down the road before grinding to a halt. Made it to Albertville about 11pm after sitting in traffic jams in heavy snow. We spent the night in a municipal hall in Albertville after the bus driver dumped us and the poor Crystal Rep there. Eventually we made it to La Plagne on Sunday afternoon.

Not a great start to the holiday, but hey, we had plenty of snow to ski on for the rest of the week, which was almost wall to wall sunshine (but brutally cold at times).

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7 minutes ago, Ravelin said:

It was Sat 27th Dec, I remember it well ***shudder***. 

We flew into Chambery around Sat lunchtime after flying around for a bit in a queue of planes trying to land. After the first got down, on it's 3rd attempt we were told, the rest went in one after another quick style. It was raining heavily at the airport, but with wet snow lying. Chaos ensued as the transfer buses were all messed up but eventually after a fair wait we got ushered onto one. We got about 5 miles down the road before grinding to a halt. Made it to Albertville about 11pm after sitting in traffic jams in heavy snow. We spent the night in a municipal hall in Albertville after the bus driver dumped us and the poor Crystal Rep there. Eventually we made it to La Plagne on Sunday afternoon.

Not a great start to the holiday, but hey, we had plenty of snow to ski on for the rest of the week, which was almost wall to wall sunshine (but brutally cold at times).

Yes it was the 27th December 2014. (oops)

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Sat under a sun drenched Euro block again this morning, mostly next to the computer trying to hunt for snowfall ! Must get out this afternoon for a walk. Yesterday skied most of the prepared pistes and thought how good they were considering no fresh snowfall for weeks now. The piste guys do a wonderful job and thankfully aided by the snow cannons. We expect a few more visitors at weekend and prospects of a cut of upper cold pool development next week over the Alps may produce the goods, hopefully. Still a bit out of range for our fine mesh model we use here. Also look forward to beer time tonight as we have some rogue visitors in from the UK .

C

91.jpg

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36 minutes ago, carinthian said:

Sat under a sun drenched Euro block again this morning, mostly next to the computer trying to hunt for snowfall !

Something like this from the GFS 6z Control would be good...

gens-0-2-264.png

It is looking somewhat better than recently, the ensemble graph for Serre Chevalier for instance at least now shows some sort of signal for precipitation from the 19th through to the end of the year. In the recent period they were showing nothing, zilch, nada and have been correct. Now I've just got to hope that despite the % figures not always being great, at least something will hit. Failing that, at least the mean 850 temps are down from the recent 10C to hovering around the 0C mark so less snow loss and more cannon time.

graphe3_1000___6.6432_44.8994_.gif

Spot the quandary on that run? Do you hope for the control run to be correct on the 26th with regards to precipitation and then have to take the higher 850s the following days?

Edited by Ravelin
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33 minutes ago, Ravelin said:

Something like this from the GFS 6z Control would be good...

gens-0-2-264.png

It is looking somewhat better than recently, the ensemble graph for Serre Chevalier for instance at least now shows some sort of signal for precipitation from the 19th through to the end of the year. In the recent period they were showing nothing, zilch, nada and have been correct. Now I've just got to hope that despite the % figures not always being great, at least something will hit. Failing that, at least the mean 850 temps are down from the recent 10C to hovering around the 0C mark so less snow loss and more cannon time.

graphe3_1000___6.6432_44.8994_.gif

Spot the quandary on that run? Do you hope for the control run to be correct on the 26th with regards to precipitation and then have to take the higher 850s the following days?

Quite honestly Ravelin not looking beyond 144h at the max. Our fine mesh models not really effective until 72 hours and then within that time span produce some amazing correct information down regarding snowfall amounts. So the latest Gfs run shows a upper cold pool over the Alps developing next week and hopefully produce some much needed snowfall but probably not too much. Beyond this time next week,bid uncertainty forecast from our Portal Agents. By the way are you off to the Alps this season?

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It's good to see a few rays of hope now developing, after the generally bad news of the past few weeks. As @carinthian says above, the GFS is showing a pool of cold air forming over the Alps next week. So with the -5C 850 hPa isotherm over the Alps, that suggests at roughly 1,500m the temp should also be around -5C. This is good news for ongoing use of snows cannons.

The GFS has also been suggesting light snow around the middle of next week. This forecast for La Plagne confirms the cold temps and possibility of a few cms of snow.

La Plagne 2,250m forecast from snow-forecast.com La Plagne 2250m Forecast on 16Dec.jpg

Additionally, for the last couple of days the GFS keeps throwing out charts that show wide-spread snow on Christmas Day. The charts below at 06.00 on the 25th show snow into the French and Swiss Alps, but this spreads east to the Austrian Alps during the day.

Precipitation Alp Precip Sun25Dec 06.00.png Freezing Level Alp Freezing Level Sun25Dec 06.00.png

I'm going to stop there because Boxing Day charts show a monsoon setting in but with temps rising above 2,500m! Anyway, it's all a long way out and there's plenty of time for (hopefully) further improvements!

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1 hour ago, carinthian said:

By the way are you off to the Alps this season?

Serre Chevalier on the 27th Dec, hence the current obsession with models, alps snowfall etc. They currently have around 60% of runs & lifts open, mainly from mid mountain up so I'm not too worried. Hopefully cannons will get the runs down to the valley open by the time we get there.

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13 minutes ago, Ravelin said:

Serre Chevalier on the 27th Dec, hence the current obsession with models, alps snowfall etc. They currently have around 60% of runs & lifts open, mainly from mid mountain up so I'm not too worried. Hopefully cannons will get the runs down to the valley open by the time we get there.

Good man. Hope ypo get a good covering before you arrive. What will be ,will be as they say. You will be fine. Enjoy your holiday. Nothing certain at your date, just a matter of reading the shorter term models from run to run. Its exhausting!

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21 hours ago, Blessed Weather said:

Very, very true Julian. There's been a discussion in the Model thread today about what's causing increasing frequency of stubborn High pressure over Europe (which is apparently subject to ongoing studies). So it would appear that the ability to make artificial snow during these prolonged dry spells is becoming a vital weapon in the battle to maintain skiing on low-level pistes.

I captured a great example at the Austrian resort of Ehrwald today (and it's a scene being repeated right across the Alps at the moment):

Early in the morning and there's a nice mound of snow generated by a cannon: Ehrwald 15 Dec 11.15.jpg

By lunchtime the piste bashers were pushing it around the run: Ehrwald 15 Dec 13.15.jpg

And by mid afternoon the piste basher was tidying up their efforts to give a nicely groomed run: Ehrwald 15 Dec 14.45.jpg

 

I always think its weird sking down white roads while everywhere else is green.
Lucky enough I havent really had it that much when I used to go.

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38 minutes ago, Norrona2015 said:

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

UK Airport staff in pre-Christmas strike  

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38347283

Hopefully this won't affect the travel plans of anyone on this thread..

 

 

And the trains, tube  and postal service.

Happy Xmas everyone, lol...
You were not wanting to go anywhere over xmas...

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Some welcome snowfall for Austria on Sunday evening into Monday morning; maybe a dusting further west into Switzerland. Amounts not much, but it's better than nothing and will at least cover the green and brown landscape and make the mountains look pretty!

Decaying cold front Mon 19 Dec 00.00 Fax Chart Mon 19Dec 00.00.jpg

Euro4 Sun 18 Dec 18.00 Euro4 Sun 18Dec 18.00.gif Mon 19 Dec 00.00 Euro4 Mon 19Dec 00.00.gif

Forecast amounts:

AUSTRIA
Katschberg  6 cm
Kitzbuhel     4 cm
Obergurgl   8 cm
Saalbach     6 cm
St Anton      6 cm
SWITZERLAND
Grindelwald 2 cm
Klosters       1 cm
Wengen      0 cm

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