Long Range Snow Forecast

Posted 19th November 2019

Long Range Snow Forecast

Will there be lots of snow this year?

 

With winter fast approaching we are all dreaming of a cold and snowy winter, weeks of deep fluffy snow, powder skiing under blue skies, perfectly groomed corduroy pistes, soft and responsive snow that squeaks under your skis.  Big powder bowls or cruisy blues through the trees we all want a fab ski season.

 

So, is there any way to predict if we are going to get lots of snow?  Generally speaking, the Alps get 6-7 meters of snow per season.  On a really good year you can get 10 meters and only 3 or 4 on a bad year.  Here are a few mountain myths to predict winter snowfall months before it has started to fall.

 

El Nino and La Nina

Believe it or not, water temperature in the Pacific Ocean has an impact on global weather patterns.  El Niño is a weather pattern that occurs in the Pacific Ocean. During an El Nino period trade winds in the Pacific cause warm surface water from the equator to move east, toward Central and South America.

La Niña, acts in the opposite way and occurs when sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean drop to lower-than-normal levels

It’s a bit complicated and scientific to explain but many people believe the European Alps have better snowfall during the El Nino period as the warmer sea temperatures creates more precipitation / snowfall in Europe and North America.

 

Weather Charts

If you search the internet it’s very easy to find weather models that try to predict weather patterns and snow fall.  Weather models are basically mathematical equations that take into account lots of different data such as wind, cloud patterns, temperatures, moisture and air pressure and convert them into a prediction. These are very scientific and take a lot of time to understand.  In our opinion these can give fairly accurate forecasts for a week or 10 days but are unreliable for long term predictions.

 

 

Mountain Myths

Enough with the science, if you speak with genuine mountain people, born and bred farmers who have lived in the Alps their whole lives you will get a different approach to snowfall predictions.  Here are a few of the mountain myths we have heard while living in the Alps the past 15 years.

Lots of red berries on the bushes at the end of the summer = lots of snow

Tall Ant Hills in July = lots of snow

If the 1st week in August is hot = lots of snow

As high as the summer plants grow so will the bank of snow

 

 

Conclusion

As you can see, it is very difficult to predict how snowy each season will be.  Having lived in the Alps for 15 years I think every season has good weeks and bad weeks, but on the whole snow conditions are great because the pisteurs are getting better and better at managing the snow.  Even on a poor snow year they will ensure the pistes are open until the end of April.

I personally believe that temperature is almost as important as the quantity of snowfall.  If the ground freezes before the first big snowfalls this will really help the snowpack during the season, as it will be sitting on cold ground and will not melt as easy.  Cold weather during the season is also better as it keeps the snow crisp and fresh.  Warm weather makes the snow heavy and wet and less fun to ski.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather forecast before your ski holiday, but don’t worry too much as I am sure you will have a brilliant holiday whatever the conditions.

 

For more information about snow conditions during the season feel free to contact us

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A Duley  February 2020

         
Hi Paddy A fantastic week in the chalet - as you know flights were cancelled and you could not have been more helpful - thank you! Matt and Naomi were wonderful - you can be proud of them. The chalet was superb and met all our expectations - a fantastic family holiday. Thank you

Olivia Siddons  March 2020

         
What a fabulous Chalet with all of the home comforts & more. The staff were absolutely lovely, very efficient and Paddy couldn’t have been more helpful. The food was delicious and the we slept like logs in the comfy beds. Thank so much guys. Hopefully see you again soon. The Siddons Family x

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We were 7 people and had a wonderful week at 21@The View. The accommodation was fabulous and very well equipped - the photos describe the place perfectly. Paddy kindly arranged for ski passes and skis to be delivered to the apartment. My only regret is that I did not take Paddy up on his offer of transfers from Geneva airport as we were badly let down. Fortunately, Paddy came to the rescue and, at 6am, managed to arrange a last minute taxi to the airport - a big thankyou from us all!

Nick Williams  February 2020

         
A beautiful Chalet in the village of Chatel which oozes charm and tradition. Paddy and his team take care of everything from driving you to the town and slopes to cooking delicious evening meals. We had a great week here (despite the lack of snowfall) and will definitely be returning.

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We had an incredible weekend at the chalet with friends. Every detail was looked after brilliantly. The service was impeccable and the food was outstanding. I would highly recommend Nine and Tenne Chalet to anyone and we can’t wait to come back! It was perfection.

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