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The All New 15/16 Weather Outlook Thread

 Poster: A snowHead
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I don't see anything particularly cold coming up. A bit colder than now would be good, though @mheadbee, I do love the warmer weather but today probably wasn't the best day to choose to go xc skiing. rolling eyes snow conditions were absolutely perfect, though.
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Quote:

There's nothing unusual about a warm few days in January or February. if temperature wasn't sometimes above average it wouldn't be below the average sometimes (like last week) would it?


My garden is looking pretty unusual - we've got daisies, dandelions, snowdrops, crocuses, and daffodils all in full bloom with a few butterflies flying around. Never seen that in January before.

Enjoyed some nice spring skiing in the Vercors over the weekend though.
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Can anyone help me with this? This is a graph for the Pyrenees. Why sometimes the Run GFS (Black line) is so separated from the average of the lines. Im aware that this is too far out and can be a total outlier but this is the third consecutive run to show this pattern for the beginning of Feb.
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@Koleoptero, If you look at the Meteociel GFS weather map model it only goes out to the 4th February.

If you check on netweather.tv their weather model map goes out to the 10th Feb. They show something coming in for the 7th - 8th February.

So it's possible that there is something potentially that, if everything lines up, could occur. There does seem to be a trend, but......it's a long way off.

And now your're hooked wink You'll be watching this avidly.
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What to the weather gods have in store for Val d'Iere next week?
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@Koleoptero, it was in the 00z and the 06z but not the 18z. But to be honest at that range it doesn't mean an awful lot. If it is sustained over a series of runs (say 6 out of next 8 ) then you might take more notice of it.

What the operational (black on that chart) being separated from the average means is that you should not have much confidence in that outcome (it does not mean you should have confidence in the mean).

@bruisedskier, not sure what you mean? GFS goes out 16 days.
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Something we've touched on here before. Not just that it is very difficult to accurately predict snowfall, but it's also very difficult to accurately measure it

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/01/24/paltry-national-airport-snowfall-total-raises-questions-about-observing-standards/


http://youtube.com/v/yXItX7AqEG0
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Koleoptero wrote:


Can anyone help me with this? This is a graph for the Pyrenees. Why sometimes the Run GFS (Black line) is so separated from the average of the lines. Im aware that this is too far out and can be a total outlier but this is the third consecutive run to show this pattern for the beginning of Feb.


I have been using this chart along with a few others as a guide for my business for the best part of 10 years and can honestly say that as with other commentators the long term forecast is really not worth loosing any sleep about. So many times you see a coming together of the ensembles from 6 to 9 days out, only for them to break up and disappear. Occasionally there is a major event that drives the weather and this can be seen a long way out - but generally not.

My take on the next couple of weeks here in the Central Pyrenees is that we may see a little bit of a dusting during a cooler 36 hours around the weekend, after which the temperatures will rise once again (as it has done for most of the season so far) with the hope of cooler weather into mid Feb though we could of course do with it much earlier Happy
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Temperatures swinging about quite a bit over the next week or so.

Although there will be some unseasonably warm temperatures about both mild



And cold



On the cards at times.
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The Jonas rain looks like mainly falling on the west coast of Scotland.



Some will make its way to the northern Alps (as snow at altitude), but not a large amount.
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Not liking the week of warming... Snow isn't that deep in Austria.

Still 4 weeks to go until I go to Kitz; going again in 6 but that is to Obergurgl - funny how I am not worried at all about snow for there; does it ever have it bad?
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The first week of February (albeit it starts warm) looks cooler and more unsettled than the last week of January.

Kitzbuhel

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That's looking better, thanks; Bergfex picking up those two small earlier snow peaks, though as rain a long way up... with a snow line @3000m just after Sad
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 You know it makes sense.
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So what's this warm weather doing to the snow pack off piste?

Yesterday we encountered every type of snow taking a route we'd not normally do till March / April, and I'm sure the conditions are true for a fair part of the Alps at the moment below 2,600. I can't comment on what you'd find above that!

Trouble is the wind at altitude has created sastrugi (wind blown waves of snow) which will not transform to super smooth spring snow for a long while, then there's scoured ridges and slopes where the wind has ripped all the snow off and then deposited in great troughs of wind blown powder which all in all meant finding a line down was quite hard, though challenging to be rewarded with some nice spring when we found it.

I did mention that you could probably get away with going out two to three hours later, well I was wrong on the score. By 1950 snow was heavy wet, almost rotten.

Anyway a few more days of freeze thaw and conditions will get better, then looks like getting colder before, maybe again some more Spring type weather.

As for the pistes that are South facing I was joking with the lifties after we skinned back up to resort to a lift how it was like end of season!

Think this pic shows the "spring" snow pack pretty well!



Other pics are in the Serre thread.
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How would one go about looking up their own GFS squiggles??
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@FIRSTOFTHEGIANTS, it has already been explained a page or two back but here it is again:-

http://www.meteociel.fr/cartes_obs/gens_display.php?ext=1&lat=45.4506&lon=6.9781

That is the URL for Val d'Isere. Replace the numbers in the last bit - lat=45.4506&lon=6.9781 - with the coordinates of the area you want to view. Simplest way to find them is to Google "Coordinates for XXXXXX".
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Thanks, and apologies, I am usually quite up-to-date with this thread.
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So I've been checking the runs for Les Arcs, they seem to be indicating more mild and less stormier weather early next week then they have over the past couple of days which is disappointing. Still time for it to change I am sure.
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buchanan101 wrote:
Snow isn't that deep in Austria.....going again in 6 but that is to Obergurgl - funny how I am not worried at all about snow for there; does it ever have it bad?


Just back from Obergurgl and pistes were ok, not the stuff of legend but fine, although thin in places. Hochgurgl was in better condition.

There is no off piste open at all, saw some lines in the valley between Ober and Hoch but not many and the avalanche risk was high! Also saw boulder fields I had not seen before as they were presumably buried in snow.
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Very warm today, FL > 3000 meters across the Northern Alps and 13C at 1000 meters. Here's my not 100% serious take on the current conditions.


http://youtube.com/v/ctLMZHq7Hl0
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Interesting video @davidof!

Latest GFS is suggesting a relatively high freezing level on Sunday (though that has been flipping back and forth). If the 12z op run were on the money you'd be looking at snow lines up to 2000m, but I would emphasise that the possible snow line and amount is shifting from run to run and this is still Tuesday.

Middle of next week has further snowfall down to relatively low levels in the Alps Wednesday/Thursday so worth keeping an eye on that.

Off into FI (ie this part is most liable to change) and February continues to look relatively unsettled with both mild and cold weather as bands of snow approach the Alps, continuing to favour the northern Alps.

http://wxmaps.org/pix/prec4.html
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Met Office contingency planners have update their three month outlook and it contains some interesting thoughts on the back end of winter and early spring. There isn't a direct correlation between what this might mean for the UK and what it will mean in Europe, but the larger scale patterns would have an impact. A shift to a -NAO would favour colder weather and more snow in the southern Alps.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/p/o/A3_plots-temp-FMA_v1.pdf

SUMMARY - TEMPERATURE:

- For February predictions are that above-average temperatures are slightly more probable than below-average. The likelihood of a prolonged spell of cold
weather is relatively low.

- Predictions for UK-average temperature for the whole of the period (February-March-April) indicate that below-average temperature is more probable than
above-average...

There is also a strong link between El Nio and an increased probability of a sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event occurring. These events disrupt the
stratospheric polar vortex and more often than not, bring cold weather to the UK. These signals correspond to the negative phase of the North Atlantic
Oscillation (NAO), which is associated with generally colder and drier-than-average conditions across the UK.

Shorter-range forecasts already indicate imminent weakening of the polar vortex. The timing of an SSW event and impacts on the UK are uncertain; this
could occur between early February and early March.

The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is the major fluctuation in tropical weather on weekly to monthly timescales. The MJO can be characterised as an eastward
moving 'pulse' of cloud and rainfall near the equator that typically recurs every 30 to 60 days. The MJO is expected to reach a phase in early February which is conducive to a negative phase of the NAO in mid- to late-February....

... Given the possibility of a sudden stratospheric warming event in February or early March, the chances of cold northerly or easterly winds affecting the UK increase later in the period, with the greatest risk of cold weather impacts in March.
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ECM joins GFS in going cold middle of next week.

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nozawaonsen wrote:


Middle of next week has further snowfall down to relatively low levels in the Alps Wednesday/Thursday so worth keeping an eye on that.


Northern Alps I presume? Will the southern Alps get a look in at some point I wonder?
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HoneyBunny wrote:
nozawaonsen wrote:


Middle of next week has further snowfall down to relatively low levels in the Alps Wednesday/Thursday so worth keeping an eye on that.


Northern Alps I presume? Will the southern Alps get a look in at some point I wonder?


In a normal year the southern alps get snow in the autumn and spring - march april time. This is when the Mediterranean gets big storms that suck up moisture and dump it as snow on the mountains. Not that this year is very normal.
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Another week of above average temperatures before a colder snap in the middle of next week. This also looks like bringing some reasonable fresh snow to the northern Alps.

Before then there looks like some light snow showers on Thursday night Friday morning in the northern Alps (5-10cm) with a snowline around 1600m (1400m or so in the east).

The chart below shows snowfall (or rather precipitation) out to Friday.



Before further light snow on Sunday (snowline up to 2000m more like 1800m in the east). The chart below shows the overall anticipated fresh snowfall over the next five days.



Overall Sunday doesn't look that nice. There are also some punchy winds being forecast in places which could shut higher lifts. The bars could be fun though!
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nozawaonsen wrote:

Overall Sunday doesn't look that nice. There are also some punchy winds being forecast in places which could shut higher lifts. The bars could be fun though!


Mad First day skiing in Val Thorens. At that altitude the wind is going to hurt us, isn't it? Hopefully there will be enough open to enjoy it...
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@letsgetpiste, on the plus side it won't be raining in Val Thorens.
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Worth keeping an eye on this little low pressure feature in the Mediterranean in the 06z.



This would bring snow to the... Southern Alps.

Will it still be there in the 12z?
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Am i reading that wrong or is Glencoe Mountain about to get a lot of snow?
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nozawaonsen wrote:
This would bring snow to the... Southern Alps.
Shocked But will they know what that white stuff is, falling from the sky?

wink
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nozawaonsen wrote:
@letsgetpiste, on the plus side it won't be raining in Val Thorens.


Small mercies!!

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nozawaonsen wrote:
Worth keeping an eye on this little low pressure feature in the Mediterranean in the 06z.

This would bring snow to the... Southern Alps.

Will it still be there in the 12z?


The 06z wigglies for the Dolomites are going a bit mad from 3rd/4th Feb onwards...temps and precip all over the place...obviously still a lot of uncertainty...but a change to more unsettled weather would be welcome as long as it settles back down again from the 14th! snowHead

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Good news - especially for the passes and higher bits - could be quite a lot of rain in the towns and villages though...
Hopefully followed up by a week of sunshine for 1/2 term. Can't wait Smile
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I'm there from the 6th. Better snow than no snow, but the wife was looking forward to a tan Cool
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Really enjoying the Spring conditions at the moment and had a cracking descent with KenX today, but the ascent back up a NW facing slope was really tough, especially on wide skis, as sun is just too low to really get to work on a slope like that and it's also in the shade for the major part of the day.

At times the snow pack looks superb in the sunshine, as you can see from this arty shot.



Other pics of KenX ripping in the Serre thread.

See Sunday's dribble for the Southern Alps has now disappeared, though maybe some wind finally in the valley, out with the snow kite then !!!
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@nozawaonsen, 12z has it there too, but breaks it up a bit more. Doesn't look like NW Italy will get much though.
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@Weathercam, nice pic, was that frozen solid wind blown snow!
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I know I've been fretting on here about the snow for my upcoming trip to Borovets next week for a bit, but I'm still worried. Everyone on here has been great, really informative and helpful. But next week is looking warm for the Bulgaria resorts, and I'm not sure we're talking a rise of a degree or two here and there - on Tuesday 2nd Feb for example, one of the forecasts I can see is predicting 11 degrees c during the day! Which matches the record for the highest temperature ever on 2nd Feb which was 11c on 2nd Feb 1980.

This seems pretty extreme to me. The other days of the week are all forecast to reach 7-9 degrees c in the day with no prospect of snow. Barely reaching freezing in the evenings. There has been no snowfall since 18th Jan.

Will the snow cannons even operate in such temperatures?
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