Chatel Snow Report

The Latest Snow Report From Chatel

 

 

The Chatel snow report is usually updated daily during the winter season and sometimes twice daily or more during snowfalls. During the rest of the year, the Chatel snow report will be less frequent.
All daily reports from earlier periods can be viewed via the Chatel Snow Report Index Page.

 


Chatel Snow Report: 16/01/2018: 10.55am

Day 36 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Fresh Snow & Wind Higher Up / Soggy Bottom Today...

Weather & Snow Report

 

Wind is noticeable this morning in Chatel and is causing some lift disruption across the ski area this morning, with most of the upper chairlifts closed. The charts below show a snapshot of the Arome model's view of gusts in KM/h this afternoon and tomorrow lunchtime.

 

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Arome wind gusts (kmh) today 14.00hrs
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Arome wind gusts (kmh) Wed 13.00hrs
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There has been a mixture of rain, sleet and snow falling in the village this morning, with the accumulating snow line still approximately a couple of hundred meters higher up. It looks like being a similar picture through the day with the snow/rain limit meandering up and down in the vicinity of the village, or just above with the 0C isotherm perhaps between somewhere between 1600m and 1800m. During this evening and overnight, colder air is set to arrive, as cold fronts cross the area, with snow for all elevations of the ski area arriving, with the potential for some significant snowfall. The charts below show the Arome and Arpege view on snowfall amounts, with the Arome looking rather (relatively) underwhelming for the period up to Wednesday evening, with the lower resolution Arpege showing a big snowfall tonight. We would be happy if the result is somewhere between these two charts and we suspect that this moght be the case. The third chart is the Arpege view for total snow by Friday night, which is perhaps over estimating amounts again, especially for the lower slopes, which may see another damp spell during Thursday.

 

In summary, it is going to continue to be an unsettled week, with copious amounts of snowfall for the upper half of the ski area, with strong winds at times too and an increasingly severe avalanche risk. Lower down, siginificant snowfall remains a possibility, along with the soggy bottom conditions today, which may be repeated for a time on Thursday too.

It will be interesting to see what arrives tonight. On verra.

 

Looking further ahead and the weekend is looking cold with the chance of showers diminishing, however, winds may again be an issue at times. Beyond the weekend, an open mid is best kept at this stage as various scenarios could develop, with some notable differences showing between the extended charts.

 

Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

Later this evening.

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Arome snowfall up to Wed eve.
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Arpege snowfall accum. to Wed eve.
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Arpege snowfall accum. to Fri eve.
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Chatel Snow Report: 16/01/2018: 8.00am

Day 36 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Snow (& Rain) Has Arrived...

Weather & Snow Report

It started snowing in Chatel at 1200m yesterday evening and there was about 1cm of snow before conditions got wetter at these lower elevations. This morning, the day had dawned damp in the village and rather windy too, with a thin layer of slush, with the accumulating snow line a couple of hundred meters or so above the village. Current temperature is 2C.

We'll take a look at the forecast snow/rain limits, amounts of precipitation and wind strengths on an update during this morning.


Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

This morning.


 

Chatel Snow Report: 15/01/2018: 6.10pm

Day 35 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Unsettled From Tonight... Outrageous Arpege Chart...

Weather & Snow Report

 

There has been some cloud coming and going in Chatel today, with some noticeable gusts of wind too, especially this afternoon, however it has stayed dry, though that is all about to change as...

 

The much heralded unsettled spell is almost upon us and there is lots of snow and wind on the way, with still some damper periods for the lower slopes during Tuesday and Thursday, however, there has if anything been a slight improvement in the models since our last update in terms of the snow/rain limits and amounts of precipitation and there also appears to be less of a chance of a mild and wet Sunday. We'll have a slightly more detailed look at the models in the morning, however, the Arpege model seems to have gone off on one tonight (see below) - as it is suggesting 1.5m of snow in our neck of the woods by Saturday with areas just to the south seeing more! Can this be correct? We suspect that this is something of an over estimation, especially for the lower slopes, however, this is perhaps the snowiest Arpege chart we have ever seen for this part of the world, so more on this tomorrow morning, along with an early update on any overnight snowfall.

 

Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

Early Tuesday morning.

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Arome snowfall up to Wed 7am.
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Arpege snowfall accum. to Sat am.
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Arpege snowfall accum. to Sat am.
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Chatel Snow Report: 14/01/2018: 6.10pm

Day 34 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Lovely Day... This Week's Potential Evolution...

Weather & Snow Report

It has been a lovely day here in Chatel with this morning's cloud breaking to allow through plenty of afternoon sunshine and it was also quieter on the mountain than Saturday, which is unusual as it is often the other way round! Those lucky enough to get onto the ski area early in the Pre La Joux sector, found some beautifully groomed pistes, with a cold and dry layer of snow on top of a very hard base. The steeper pistes soon became scraped, resulting in some very hard and icy areas appearing this afternoon.

 

Chatel Snow Report        

Blues skies at times today.

 

 

So, back to the week ahead and the arrival of some rather unsettled weather. We have been talking about this return to unsettled conditions for some days now and with the latest model runs now appearing, we can try and put some meat onto the bones of a potential forecast...

The first precipitation is expected to reach the Chatel area during Monday evening, bringing the potential for some modest amounts of snowfall down to the village. Unfortunately, some slightly milder air is set to arrive on Tuesday morning and this may elevate the rain/snow level to above the village, but perhaps not too far above the village and a scenario of rain falling above 1600m is not expected at this stage. Colder air looks like arriving on Tuesday night, with snowfall and a cold and snowy day is expected on Wednesday. There are differences between the models regarding potential snowfall amounts, however, the Arpege model's view for snowfall to midnight on Wednesday night is shown below, which may well be an overestimation. Then comes a potential issue on Thursday. We mentioned a potentially nasty area of low pressure crossing Britain on Wednesday night / Thursday morning, this looks like passing through a bit further north than was perhaps envisaged, resulting in milder weather for us on Thursday, with very little precipitation during the day, before colder air, with some snowfall returns on Thursday evening or night. How mild it will get on Thursday is still open to question, however the Arpege and GFS model's view on the height of the 0C isotherm on Thursday lunchtime are shown below and note how small adjustments north and south could make quite a difference.

Friday could see further snowfall, as could Saturday, potentially for all elevations of the ski area, before another pulse of milder air perhaps brings some wet weather for next Sunday. Uncertainties remain throughout this forcecast period, in terms of precipitation amounts and where the snow/rain limit will be situated on Tuesday and Thursday and there could easily be adjustments for the better or worse over the next 24 hours, especially as that nasty looking low zipping through Britain could still spring a surprise.

We would be disappointed if there is not at least 1m of fresh snow towards the top of the ski area by next weekend, however, the weather and especially the weather models can and do leave us disappointed from time to time. On verra.

 

Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

Monday pm.

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Arpege snowfall up to late Wed night.
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Arpege 0C isotherm Thursday 13.00hrs.
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GFS 0C isotherm Thursday 13.00hrs.
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Chatel Snow Report: 14/01/2018: 9.50am

Day 34 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... More Cloud But Bright Today...

Weather & Snow Report

A short update this morning as we are hoping to upload our thoughts on the latest model update this evening (though there is a brief mention of them below).

 

Yesterday saw some glorious weather and some mostly very good piste conditions, even though it was busier than we were expecting with alot of people on the mountains enjoying the blue skies. Today has dawned bright, but with more in the way of cloud. The weather is still set to chancge from Monday night...

 

Chatel Snow Report        

Saturday blue skies.

 

 

This morning's models have generally swung a little in the wrong direction overnight, with the milder pulses of air still potentially elevating the snow/rain limit for a time on Tuesday and Thursday. The track and intensity of an area of low pressure that is expected to bring disruption to parts of Britain on Wednesday night is still yet to be resolved, so Thursday and Friday's weather remains a litle bit in the balance. More on this later today.

 

Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

Sunday evening.

   

GFS 00Z at 96hrs
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UKMO 00Z at 96hrs
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ECMWF 00Z at 96hrs
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Chatel Snow Report: 13/01/2018: 11.15am

Day 33 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Fine This Weekend Then Becoming Very Unsettled...

Weather & Snow Report

Good morning from Chatel, where the skies are clear this morning and it looks like being a great day on the ski area. The pistes will have had a substantial re-freeze overnight, so timing of the grooming of the pistes will have determined where the best piste conditions are likely to be, with the best conditions again expected where there is a mix of man made and natural snow on the pistes and it looks like being fairly quiet.

 

The weather is still on track to change over the coming days, with the precipitation laden west to west-northwesterly flow on the way for Tuesday onwards. Not a great deal has changed since our last summary of the potential evolution, with the upper half of the ski area still set to benefit from at least 1m of fresh snow between Tuesday and the weekend and perhaps a fair bit more than that. Winds will be an issue at times and note the small area of low pressure that this morning's models are showing on the 120hr chart (see below), which could not only bring damaging winds to the UK and other parts of NW Europe, but also as its intensity and track is yet to be determined, it does bring some further uncertainties into the mix for our area. As it stands this morning, it is looking like a rain to snow event on Tuesday for the village, with snow a bit higher up, followed by significant snowfall for all elevations from Tuesday evening to Wednesday night. On Thursday, we may see a temporary pulse of less cold air, elevating the snow/rain limit above the village for a time, before the colder air returns. Some uncertainty for Friday regarding snow/rain limits, but the snowfalls may continue, perhaps into next weekend too. There is a chance that the precipitation may remain as snow all through the week for the village elevation, however, a couple of those slightly milder pulses are probably quite likely.

 

In summary, there is the potential for significant snowfall from Tuesday, with all elevations of the ski area benefitting at times, which when combined with the wind strengths, brings the likelihood of a period of high avalanche risk levels. 2018 has started with plenty of snow on the pistes, however, after the slightly underwhelming start to the year after the December bonanza of snow conditons, things are set to get very interesting and really rather exciting again! To be continued...

 

Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

Sunday.

   

GFS 00Z at 120hrs
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UKMO 00Z at 120hrs
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ECMWF 00Z at 120hrs
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GFS at 144hrs
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UKMO at 144hrs
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ECMWF at 144hrs
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Chatel Snow Report: 11/01/2018: 12.50pm

Day 31 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... An Overnight Dusting ... Snow next Week???

Weather & Snow Report

There was a dusting of snow overnight in the village with a couple of cm's or so higher up and the weather has been mostly cloudy this morning, with just the odd break in the cloud here and there. The pistes in the best condition at the moment are generally those that have the mix of natural and man made snow, especially those higher up. After the riches of fresh snow, in both quantity and quality throughout December, conditions remain relatively underwhelming in the area at the moment, despite plentiful amounts of snow. The fact that there were huge "retour d'est" snowfalls a short distance to our southeast, has also rubbed salt into the wounds. So despite many pistes remaining in good condition, there is a slightly flat feeling, exaggerated today by the overcast skies.

 

The repercussions of the storms of last week are still noticeable in the area and a trip up to Saix this morning found sections of the snow shoe path to Chalet Theo which are bare, where the snow was literally washed away and there is still plenty of water flowing down the streams and on some of the paths, as temperatures have not been particularly cold since the New Year.

 

The good news is that things are set to change and become far more exciting next week. We discussed the potential pattern on yesterday's update and this morning's charts are painting a similar picture with a precipitation laden, westerly flow expected to develop next week. This brings the potential for some very significant snowfalls, however, it also brings with it risks, as a small northward adjustment in the potential westerly pattern would bring milder air and a higher snow/rain limit. At the moment the signs are promising, however, slightly milder air could still elevate the snow/rain limits from time to time. If the pattern verifies in a similar way to what is being modelled at the moment, then at least 1m of snow is possible on the upper half of the ski area during next week, or possibly a fair bit more if we are in the sweet spot. Lower down, things are less certain with the snow/rain limit perhaps near to the village at times. There is likely to be some to-ing and fro-ing from the models over the coming days, so as was discussed on yesterday's update, your apps may swing from showing snow on one particular day for next week, to rain the next and so on, but we should have a better idea of where those snow/rain limits might be by the time we get to Sunday. To be continued...


Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

Friday pm.

 

   

GFS 00Z at 120hrs
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UKMO 00Z at 120hrs
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ECMWF 00Z at 120hrs
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GFS 00Z at 144hrs
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UKMO 00Z at 144hrs
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ECMWF 00Z at 144hrs
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Chatel Snow Report: 10/01/2018: 12.05pm

Day 30 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Cloudy But Bright... Snow Next Week, Or Rain???

Weather & Snow Report

After a clear start to the day here in Chatel, some cloud has arrived bringing a few flurries to the summits and now it is cloudy, but quite bright at times. Snow conditions yesterday were generally really rather good on the upper half of the ski area, after the light snowfall of Monday night, with the lower pistes much harder after the rain. Overnight piste maintenance work should have provided some good piste conditions this morning.

 

A look at the models this morning does show the weather becoming unsettled next week, however, as we hinted at yesterday, the arrival of bucket loads of snow is not yet a foregone conclusion. We have a pattern with 3 main air masses to contend with next week, which means the models are chucking out variations of a similar theme, however, there are also some subtle differences. The charts below show the overnight runs from the big 3 models, all showing high pressure to the east / northeast of here, a deep area of Atlantic low pressure and the Azores high. The charts look similar, however, the slight variation of modelling of these 3 air masses, means the difference between snow for all elevations of the ski area for us here in Chatel and a situation of an elevated rain/snow limit from time to time. Although we are not expecting a repeat of the deluge of last week, there does appear to be a chance that this developing weather pattern could bring a large amount of precipitation to this part of the Alps, but it is too early to say how much of that will be rain and how much of it will be snow. Obviously, we hope it will be the latter, however, we would not be too surprised if it is a mix of the two.

 

The charts will no doubt swing from one scenario to the other over the coming days, so expect the usual variations on those automated apps and websites. Remember, many sites use the GFS model data (as it is available for free), with some sites such as the popular Norwegian one, using the ECMWF data. It is this difference in data source which often explains the differences between these sites when looking at forecasts beyond a couple of days or so. As these sites use the operational runs of these models (ie the same as the charts below) - they are perhaps equally unreliable, and are especially so when dealing with precipitation forecasts and snowfall in particular.

To be continued...


Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

Thursday.

 

   

GFS 00Z at 120hrs
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UKMO 00Z at 120hrs
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ECMWF 00Z at 120hrs
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GFS 00Z at 144hrs
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UKMO 00Z at 144hrs
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ECMWF 00Z at 144hrs
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Chatel Snow Report: 09/01/2018: 12.30pm

Day 29 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Cooler Today...

Weather & Snow Report

With areas not too far away to the southeast seeing huge fresh snowfalls, the weather here in Chatel is a little underwhelming today, with plenty of cloud, however, the one bit of good news is that the foehn effect has now gone and temperatures are a touch cooler. Overnight, there was some fresh snow higher up, with a few cm's above about 1700m, with another spell of rain for the lower areas. This rain has turned some lower areas very icy this morning, whereas the light snowfall has refreshed the pistes higher up. So, when are we going to see some more snow?...

 

The charts and models today continue to show a situation of high pressure over northeast Europe, putting up a block to low pressure out in the Atlantic. The low pressure bringing the snowfalls to areas to our southeast is in the wrong position for us to benefit. There is very little precipitation in the forecast for our area over the next few days, with variable amounts of cloud and also some sunshine, however, the charts do suggest that the low pressure out in the Atlantic will make inroads into the high pressure to our northeast. This could bring in a much more unsettled Atlantic influence next week with the potential for useful or significant snowfall. The danger in the pattern is that the high pressure to our northeast is more resilient than is being modelled, resulting in a milder air stream for our area, however, there is room for plenty of optimism of a return of the snowfalls next week. Fingers crossed.


Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

Wednesday morning.

 

 

Chatel Snow Report: 08/01/2018: 6.20pm

Day 28 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Foehn Causing Some Issues...

Weather & Snow Report

It has been a day of variable cloud amounts in the Chatel area, with a foehn wind blowing, which has kept the temperatures well above 0C in parts of the ski area and valley and it is currently 9C a short distance down the road, which is too mild for this time of the day, at this time of year. The foehn was also strong enough to cause some lift disruption in the Super Chatel and Barbossine ski areas. The other negative effect of the foehn is the general thaw that it brings and the snow pack in the village has been decimated in the last 7 days after the storms and rain of last week and now the foehn effect of the last 2 days. Fortunately, the snow pack on the pistes is still impressive in most areas, which it has needed to be in order to withstand this seemingly relentless attempt for the weather to reduce it since the turn of the year. Snow conditions were reported to be varied again today on the ski area, with one comment summing things up - "there's loads of snow, but it's all just a bit too mild".

 

We are postponing our look ahead until tomorrow morning, however, significant snowfall are off the agenda for a few more days, however, the trend does look like being one of cooler weather returning.


Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

Tuesday morning.

 

 

Chatel Snow Report: 08/01/2018: 6.25am

Day 28 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Snow Plentiful But Foehn Wind Arrives...

Weather & Snow Report

A very brief update this morning after a hectic weekend... The weather was much improved over the weekend, with snow conditions varied, but often good, even though the mild spell continued. Snow depths are still very impressive on many pistes in the area, however, there is no question that conditions are not as good as they were before the storms of last week. Yesterday we were in Les Crosets at a large race event for the juniors and there we found the snow to be generally pretty good, with plenty of soft snow, though the gusts of foehn were very noticeable at times. After abating for a while, the foehn wind returned last night and this has had a noticeable effect, rising the temperature in the valley from 3C to nearly 9C in a couple of hours after midnight.

We'll be taking a closer look at what the weather is looking like for the rest of the week and next weekend on an update early this evening.

Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

This evening.

 

 

Chatel Snow Report: 05/01/2018: 9.15pm

Day 25 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Better Today After 2 Shocking Days!...

Weather & Snow Report

After 2 days of storm with the torrential rain of yesterday following the gales of Wednesday, the ski area appeared to be in recovery mode today. Fortunately, the weather was a bit better and brighter than expected and conditions on piste were varied but often OK and surprsingly good after the dreadful battering the ski area has had. There are signs every where of the storm. Closed roads (the main route out of the village blocked at Suvay), trees and branches down all along the Dranse, muddy avalanches on some snow slopes, swollen streams and rivers and the X-country trails broken in many places. We even spotted the sad site of a drowned fox today on a trip up the Dranse this afternoon. The photo below shows the scenes at the Banfin bridge this afternoon, where for the second time in a week, floodwaters washed away the cross country piste and snowshoe trail.

 

Looking at the rainfall totals from the local weather station, it could be argued that we got off fairly lightly, as 66mm of rainfall was recorded in the 24 hours up to midnight last night. That is a high total for the valley location of the weather station, so some surrounding mountain slopes will have see alot more, however, it does appear we may have avoided the total disaster that may have occured if we had seen that total nearer to 100mm, which when combined with the snow melt might have put more pressure on the Dranse, which in general, stayed within its banks. It also has to be said that the local mairie services and emergency services responded quickly and impressively at various crisis points yesterday.

 

We'll be looking forward to reporting on some rather normal conditions over the coming days and looking for the signs of winter returning.

Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.


Next Snow report Update:

Sunday.

 

Chatel Snow Report        

X Country piste gone at Banfin!

 

 

Chatel Snow Report: 04/01/2018: 10.15am

Day 24 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Not A Day For Mountain Activities...

Weather & Snow Report

With Meteo France issuing an orange weather warning for the heavy rain and avalanche risk, and with their avalanche bulletin showing a 5/5 risk above 2100m, it is hardly surprising that the upper ski area is closed today. The overnight snow brought 8cm to the village, but this has already shrunk dramatically due to the rain that has been falling and the milder temperatures. So far, we have had about 30mm of rain in the valley, so there is potentially alot more to come. As mentioned on previous updates, all this water is going to swell the local streams and rivers, from an unpleasant combination of heavy rain, run off from the slopes and snow melt.

Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

Thurs eve or Friday.

 

 

Chatel Snow Report: 03/01/2018: 11.15am

Day 23 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Very Strong Winds Today... Monsoon Tomorow?...

Weather & Snow Report

The ski area is almost completely closed this morning due to the very high winds which may continue into the afternoon. The wind is a mild one, however, its direction does mean we escape the foehn effect in this valley, whereas in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland, the temperature has reportedly shot up from 4C to 13C in an hour at one valley location at an elevation of 1000m!!!

 

We are still keeping a close eye on precipitation amounts over the coming days...

 

Yesterday evening, it started snowing again in the village, however, milder air moved in with rain replacing the snow at most elevations of the ski area. Today, the rain is continuing on and off, however, the snow/rain limit is set to come down to towards the village again this afternoon. This yo-yo continues tomorrow, with rain once again replacing the snowfall for most, if not all elvations of the ski area by early morning. So, any snowfall this afternoon and evening is really kind of irrelevant, as the rain will be mostly washing it away tomorrow. This brings us to the potentially troublesome rainfall amounts during the next 48 hours and below are the Arome and Arpege model's view on rain equivalent precipitation in mm. The forecast amounts remain a concern, especially when combined with run off and snow melt, with the local streams and rivers receiving a large amount of water in a relatively short space of time. There are also other potential adverse consequences for slope stability above and below the snow line in the area.

 

Chatel Snow Report   Chatel Snow Report    

Arome rain equivalent precip to Thurs eve
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Arpege rain equivalent precip to Fri eve
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Looking further ahead and the generally mild theme is set to continue into the weekend, with perhaps colder and drier air arriving next week.

 

Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

Wed eve or Thursday am.

 

 

Chatel Snow Report: 02/01/2018: 11.35am

Day 22 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Alot Of Rain Increasingly Likely With Local Issues...

Weather & Snow Report

Snow conditions are reportedly excellent yet again this morning, after the fresh snowfalls since New Year's Eve night and there is some drier weather this morning with a few brighter interludes too. However, the weather is on the change again and is set to turn increasing unsettled from tonight and there is, as the headline above suggests, some very unwanted weather on the way too, including some strong winds for tomorrow. We were talking a few days ago about the snow really mounting up this week, however, these expectations have been tempered by the likelihood that milder air will push up the snow/rain limits, resulting in perhaps more rain than snow for most of the ski area around Chatel and Thursday's forecast is looking increasingly wet, in a potentially rather extreme way, which could cause some local flooding issues. Late last Saturday evening, returning from work up the Dranse river path, we witnessed a concerning event when the stream that runs down from La Chappelle to the Banfin bridge came right over the track and cross country piste resulting in a detour for the trip home along a safer route! With some huge rainfall amounts possible on Thursday, similar events may occur.

 

This is how the next few days might pan out...

 

Snow returning later today, with the snow/rain limit rising overnight to above 1800m and perhaps to the top of the ski area by dawn on Wednesday. The relatively mild air may continue through Wednesday, with further showers possible, until during the afternoon, when the 0C isotherm is expected to come down along with the snow/rain limits, so some snowfall may return to the village on Wednesday evening. Note the graphic below showing possible wind gusts on Wednesday morning, bringing the potential for lift disruption.

 

Chatel Snow Report   Chatel Snow Report    

Arome wind gusts (kmh) 11am Wed.
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Arpege rain equivalent precip to Sat am.
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Precipitaion potentially intensifies overnight into Thursday, along with the snow/rain limit climbing again and Thursday could be a real washout for most elevations of the ski area, with some heavy rain possible and snow reserved for the highest areas. There remains some uncertainty regarding the snow/rain limits on Thursday and they could come down a bit at times during the heavier precipitation, however, there is a chance the accumulating snow limit may be sat close to, or above 2000m. For the village, it is a washout scenario on Thursday with the potential flooding issues described above with large volumes of rainfall, combining with run off and snow melt, so the river Dranse level could become very high. If you look at the Arpege rain equivalent precipitation accumulation chart above (of which some of this will be snow), it does show the potential for some huge rainfall totals - perhaps 100mm to 150mm at village level - which begs the question of what will the streams and rivers look like with that amount of rain?

 

The 0C isotherm rises further on Thursday night with rain for all elevations, with an improvement for Friday, but also remaining mild. There is plenty of uncertainty for the weekend, with perhaps some colder air eventually returning and the extended charts below from the overnight operational runs, provide a flavour of what is possible for early next week - ie a high level of uncertainty.

 

Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

Wednesday.

 

   

GFS 00Z at 120hrs
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UKMO 00Z at 120hrs
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ECMWF 00Z at 120hrs
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GFS at 144hrs
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UKMO at 144hrs
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ECMWF at 144hrs
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GFS at 192hrs
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ECMWF at 192hrs
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Chatel Snow Report: 02/01/2018: 7.50am

Day 22 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Overnight Snowfall... Models Trending Milder...

Weather & Snow Report

Initial measurements suggest that 11cm of snow has fallen at 1200m since the snowfall resumed yesterday afternoon. There have been a few flakes this morning and the current temperature is just below -1C.

We'll be taking a look at what the forecast models are showing for the rest of the week, on an update later this morning, with a rather annoying trend to milder conditions, meaning some rainfall is now very likely over the coming days.

Next Snow report Update:

During this morning.

 

Chatel Snow Report: 01/01/2018: 8.05pm

Day 21 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Snow Still Falling...

Weather & Snow Report

7cm of snow has fallen at 1200m since the snowfall resumed this afternoon, bringing the total since midnight to 12cm.

Next Snow report Update:

Early Tues.

 

 

Chatel Snow Report: 01/01/2018: 6.00pm

Day 21 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Evening Update... An Unsettled Weather Pattern...

Weather & Snow Report

Happy New Year / Bonne Annee... the snow petered out this morning without adding any further measurable accumulations and after a drier and brighter period, the snow has returned during the second half of the afternoon, with a couple of cm's of fresh snow added so far. This morning's snowfall freshened the pistes nicely and there should be some nice snow underfoot tomorrow!

 

Further snowfall is expected over the next couple of days and then there is a looming problem... Thursday. At the moment the models seem to agree that some milder air will combine with the very unsettled weather pattern to bring rain to most or all elevations of the ski area, with these milder conditions perhaps continuing into the weekend, with perhaps a colder end to the weekend.

 

Below is the Arome model's view on tonight and tomorrow's snowfall, which we think is perhaps underooking the amounts, and also the crazy scenario portrayed by the Arpege model (up to Friday), which is potentially overcooking the forecast amounts, but should still not be completely dismissed. High mountain areas do look like seeing some insane amounts of snowfall by the weekend, but here in the PDS, the results may not be that spectacular due to the elevated snow/rain limits later in the week. There is still time for variations in the forecast snow/rain limits, however that soggy Thursday is looking increasingy likely.

 

Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.


Next Snow report Update:

Early Tuesday morning.

 

Chatel Snow Report   Chatel Snow Report    

Arome model snowfall to Tuesday eve.
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Arpege model snowfall to Friday.
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Chatel Snow Report: 01/01/2018: 6.15am

Day 21 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... Early Morning Update...

Weather & Snow Report

Happy New Year / Bonne Annee... there has been some fresh snowfall overnight with 5cm of wet snow falling at our location just above 1200m. Further snowfall is expected to arrive this afternoon. Current temperature is just above 0C.

 

Since our last update, the rain of Saturday brought a significant thaw to the village and some fairly dreadful road conditions and high local river and stream levels. The rain cleared awwy on Saturday night and as we suggested, the pistes turned to concrete in many areas for the early part of Sunday. Mild temperatures, and some cloud coming and going did mean that some pistes noticeably softened on Sunday afternoon. After the fireworks of last night, the snow has returned and an unsettled and topsy turvy week is still expected with snow, rain and wind at times, and the potential for some further significant falls of snow, especially for the upper half of the ski area. We'll hopefully have a closer look at the forecast snow/rain limits on an update later this afternoon / early evening.

Next Snow report Update:

Later this afternoon.

 

 

Chatel Snow Report: 30/12/2017: 11.35am

Day 19 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... The Outlook - A Look At The Models...

Weather & Snow Report

It is now raining here in Chatel, which was expected and it may rain right to the top of the ski area during the day - though the very top could still have some mostly non accumulating wet flakes falling from time to time. The rain is expected to peter out tonight. The 0C isotherm is then set to climb to above 3000m by tomorrow, so a really rather mild day is expected with some spring-like sunshine for the sunny aspect slopes. If the skies clear before the ski area opens, then there is a real chance of the soggy snowpack re-freezing due to a radiative cooling effect (and possible temperature inversion for the lowest slopes), which could bring some concrete conditons early in the day tomorrow. This will all depend on when (and if) the skies clear very early tomorrow.

 

Thereafter, things begin to get interesting again. Less mild air returns on Sunday night, wih some snowfall too, mostly clearing by Sunday morning. Another area of snow is set to arrive later on Monday and this sets the scene of a few days of very changeable, or potentially unsettled weather with the snow/rain limits yo-yoing up and down the ski area. Large amounts of precipitation are expected, with copious snowfall for much of the ski area, interspered with one or two milder and soggier phases, however, despite these unwanted milder interludes, the net result should be a substantial increase in snow pack depths for the upper half of the ski area and the potential for a noticeable increase lower down. What we don't know at this stage is where the snow/rain limits will be situated for each precipitation event. Below is the Arpege model's view on accumulated fresh snowfall by Tuesday night (treat with a pich of salt). There is plenty more precipitation in the models for the few days after that graphic, so we could be looking at a severe avalanche risk situation developing.

 

Chatel Snow Report        

Arpege model snowfall to Tuesday night.
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Looking towards next weekend, and there could be a continuation of the changeable or unsettled theme, however, the two 192hr operational charts shown below do hint at something different arriving, with perhaps another very mild pulse of air inbound, however, at these sorts of ranges, the charts may look very different tomorrow.

 

In summary, the very snowy start to this season is set to continue. Since September, there have been 30 days at 1200m when snow has been falling, with 215cm of measured snowfall. Higher up at 1800m, the estimated value for the same period is now approaching 400cm. It will be interesting to see where these numbers are up to this time next week. This is all very different to the last 2 Decembers, which only managed a meagre dusting of snow on one day in the whole of those 62 December days!

 

Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

Sunday.

 

   

GFS 00Z at 120hrs
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UKMO 00Z at 120hrs
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ECMWF 00Z at 120hrs
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GFS at 144hrs
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UKMO at 144hrs
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ECMWF at 144hrs
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GFS at 192hrs
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ECMWF at 192hrs
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Chatel Snow Report: 30/12/2017: 9.05am

Day 19 Of The Chatel 2017/18 Season... After The Snow... The Rain...

 

Weather & Snow Report

After some fantastic snow conditions over the last couple of days and another 9cm of snow overnight here in Chatel at 1200m, things are set to take a little step back today. Milder air associated with a warm front is currently raising the snow/rain limit and a rather soggy day is expected to delevop. More on this and also a look at the outlook for next week (which is very interesting to say the least), on an update later this morning...

 

Avalanche Risk Resources: For avalanche forecasts, use both the Meteo France forecast - click here and the Swiss SLF forecast - click here - as these are both very relevant to this area. Also, pay attention to the avalanche warning flags & signs and don't be shy to ask a pisteur, they are very friendly and will let you know the latest situation in a particular sector.

Next Snow report Update:

During this morning.

 

 

Chatel Snow Report:

Review Of The 2016/17 Snow Season In Chatel...

Here is our review of the 2016/17 snow season in Chatel, which will be remembered as a generally disappointing one in terms of amounts of snowfall, the number of powder days and periods of "classic" conditions, however, the season did see plenty of sunshine and provided decent skiing conditons at times when other resorts in the Alps were struggling with the lack of early season snow... click here for the review.

 

For December 2017 Snow Reports - visit the Chatel Snow Report Index Page - click here.

 

For November 2017 Snow Reports - visit the Chatel Snow Report Index Page - click here.

 

For All Previous Reports - visit the Chatel Snow Report Index Page - click here.


For the Chatel snow forecast - click here.