Cold, dry start to November

A sea change in the weather with temperatures dropping from a daily max that flirted with 30°C before the weekend to just 17°C today. The weather system that passed over the alps on Tuesday evening brought under a mm of rain. Not enough to get excited about although the summits further north in the Haute-Savoie may look a bit whiter. It seems like winter may finally have started, the zero isotherm will be around 1500 meters overnight and some high altitude resorts may be looking to get their snow canons working soon. There is no snow below 3000m except in some very cold and shaded areas where the first traces can be seen from 2700m. Higher up glaciers are very open after a long, hot and relatively dry autumn.

Posted by davidof on Wednesday, 01 November, 2006 at 11:02 PM

There was further snow overnight with it settling down to 800-1000 meters altitude. The forecast is for warmer temperatures over the next few days with the zero isotherm rising to around 2200 meter. Depending on the quantity of rain there is a risk of wet snow avalanches as the snowpack gets saturated. There has been a considerable quantity (50cm) of fresh snow over the last 4 days so watch out for risk of windslab higher up.

Posted by davidof on  Wednesday, 22 November, 2006  at 07:54 AM

Temperatures have become warmer over the last few days, a daytime high of 18C is expected today in the French Alps (at sea level). Val Thorens will open today with 35cm at resort level and 50cm at the top of the pists. Val d’Isere follows suit tomorrow claiming 30cm in the village and 40cm at the top of the pistes. Only a limited amount of runs will be open and off-piste is not advisable. These two resorts follow Tignes which now has skiing to the resort level at 2100 meters.

Posted by davidof on  Friday, 24 November, 2006  at 10:28 AM

The foehn (strong southerly wind) that has blown since Friday finally abated this morning but has left warm temperatures. The mercury hit 22C in parts of the Isere region yesterday, a record for the end of November and 10C above average. The warm spell is expected to continue to Wednesday with dry, fine weather until early December.

The foehn did its damage. There is no snow below 2300 meters on south facing slopes and 2000 meters on north facing slopes which has effectively stopped any ski touring or off-piste skiing for the moment.

Posted by davidof on  Sunday, 26 November, 2006  at 03:22 PM
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