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The All New 20/21 Weather Outlook Thread

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
World record for highest surface air pressure has this week been smashed, in Mongolia.

Temps hit -50f / -45c and 1,094 millibars.

Destroyed the old 2004 record of 1,089 mb.

https://wmo.asu.edu/content/highest-sea-lvl-air-pressure-above-700m

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Decent storm train coming for the Pacific Northwest of the USA and SW British Columbia.

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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
First storm came through warm and late. Equals not as much snow accumulation. Looks like the next one coming in on Friday afternoon will also be on the warm side, so expectations need to be lowered for snow amounts. But, never fear, there's one more storm right behind it with a bit more cool air as the jet stream starts to drop further South.

Happy New Year's!
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@Toadman, Happy New Year! Hope that storm cycle delivers the goods in the end!
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High winds are reeking havoc with upper alpine lifts today in the PNW and BC. Most upper mtn lifsts are closed with steady 50 kph winds and gusts to 80 kph. That will provide some challenges for patrol to open things up. Whistler reporting 39cm over past 24 hours with about 24cm falling over night. Most Cascade mtns reporting just light accumulations of about 8cm-10cm but should see snow through out the day into the night. Temps are on the warmer side with 0C at the bases and -4C at mid-mountain. Will provide a nice pasting and coating of the slopes though.
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Bit of a "warm-up" in the west next weekend, maybe back towards average for a few hours.....then chances of a northerly flow are appearing, which often happens after an easterly undercut like mon-wed is showing.

Last January was notable for the record breaking strong zonal strat winds. Mirror image this year. Mean zonal wind is sinking deeper into mid month than previously shown....vortex split is close, may take 2 hits to confirm, but either way some serious disruption to the norm lies ahead

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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Mixed messages from the main 4 this morning re. next weekend....from worst to best:

UKMO and ECM make a mess of it at 144





While GFS and GEM in particular show a cleaner northerly a few frames later





Pretty in pink

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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@polo, what's your thinking for around 7th Jan in western alps? Meteociel seem to change their forecast daily from no snow to snow to no snow to snow ....
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@Alpinebear, not seeing much in the models this week....had a few flakes today, more of the same coming....so a few cms and very cold out to Fri 8th. But there is always a chance of the models underestimating precip in this environment.....you know, get the cold in first, but nothing really on the radar nearby.

Next weekend on is my next hope for a good dump, but ICON 12z just out now is going the way of ECM/UKMO above, so may have to wait a little longer.
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Largely cold, but dry for most of the northern Alps and for the foreseeable, but some fresh for parts of the south and Pyrenees.



“Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,

A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;

Blinks but an hour or two; and then,

A blood-red orange, sets again.” RLS

Arlberg

https://www.meteociel.fr/cartes_obs/gens_display.php?ext=1&lat=47.2&lon=10.2

Chamonix

https://www.meteociel.fr/cartes_obs/gens_display.php?ext=1&lat=45.9&lon=6.9




To be clear I’d never heard of the VW Rabbit before this ad, so certainly not promoting it. Doesn’t really look like my go to snow car... anyway copy made me chuckle...
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Some pretty spectacular amounts fell in the Apennines, NW of Florence over the weekend Shocked

http://youtube.com/v/ELqliGuzinc


http://youtube.com/v/K4czcxM5TLg
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
nozawaonsen wrote:
Largely cold, but dry for most of the northern Alps and for the foreseeable, but some fresh for parts of the south and Pyrenees.



“Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,

A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;

Blinks but an hour or two; and then,

A blood-red orange, sets again.” RLS

Arlberg

https://www.meteociel.fr/cartes_obs/gens_display.php?ext=1&lat=47.2&lon=10.2



VW Rabbit is the US market Golf................


Chamonix

https://www.meteociel.fr/cartes_obs/gens_display.php?ext=1&lat=45.9&lon=6.9




To be clear I’d never heard of the VW Rabbit before this ad, so certainly not promoting it. Doesn’t really look like my go to snow car... anyway copy made me chuckle...
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
US market Golf........................ in the right place now rolling eyes
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
My grand-daughter currently in Provence, not far from Avignon, is playing in the snow this morning. Not a lot of snow, but she's totally absorbed.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
geoffers wrote:
Some pretty spectacular amounts fell in the Apennines, NW of Florence over the weekend Shocked


http://youtube.com/v/K4czcxM5TLg


We're going to need a bigger snow blower!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Belated happy new year to all. Sad to say I’m trying not to think about skiing as I know that for me it’s at least a year away. Forecast for Zermatt or Salzburgerland in Feb 2022 anyone?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@twoodwar, Feb 2022? Currently predicting good times! (subject to change of course and low confidence at that range).

Pretty sunny out east at moment.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I know this topic gets discussed in this thread from time to time - but the fingers are crossed for an invasion of the Polar Vortex.... Very Happy

https://www.yahoo.com/news/arctic-outbreaks-major-winter-storms-173400498.html

Alex Sosnowski
Tue, January 5, 2021, 9:34 AM PST
Changes are taking place in the atmosphere above the Arctic Circle that suggest the clock is ticking on the mild weather -- for January standards -- gripping much of the United States. Forecasters say signs are pointing toward cold air outbreaks that will begin during the third week of January. At the same time, an active storm track is likely to continue in the South and along the East Coast -- and the combination could spell more chances for snowfall in the coming weeks.

AccuWeather long-range meteorologists have been keeping tabs on the polar vortex and a high-level part of the atmosphere, known as the stratosphere, for signals on potential Arctic air invasions for several weeks now.

"Just prior to the end of December and ongoing now through Jan. 5, 2021, there has been a surge in temperatures in the stratosphere above the Arctic Circle," AccuWeather's Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.

"The first push of Arctic air seems likely to begin later during the second week to early in the third week of January (11th to 15th) from part of western Canada and the U.S. Rockies," Pastelok said.
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@nozawaonsen, my feeble joke attempt. Smile
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@Toadman,yeah, yesterday was the day when we officially could say that we have a SSW this season as the winds at 60 degrees at 10 hpa (around 30000 m) above us was reversed.

So what does that mean? Around 70 % of cases we get an effect. It can happen from day 5 to around a month after the SSW. Usually, the main effect is around two weeks afterwards. Basically, we need to transform what happens high up down towards the troposphere to se the effects on the jet stream. And the jury is still out, but the odds are favorable for cold weather in NA/Europe. A split of the vortex (looks likely) would favor European cold and not so much NA.

So what to believe? We are still in a negative AO/NAO situation (which has given all that snow to the southern Alps). This will last the next week although today’s prognosis have most members heading towards neutral in the end. My guess is that we will see an effect of SSW in Europe with cold weather over Northern Europe. A little more uncertain when it comes to the Alps, but odds are still good for decent winter weather towards the middle of February.

Conclusion: the SSW might reinforce the prevailing negative AO/NAO situation until mid February like a Molotov cocktail. Or it might end up as a big disappointment like 2019.
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The current forecast for the Western Alps is as dry as a bone on a pretty low base. If you have to miss a ski season this looks like the one to miss from my memory of the last 10 or so...
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@BobinCH, whereas the shut Northern Pennines and Scotland are looking pretty good for their early season!
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@BobinCH, the conditions in resort are great.
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Alpinebear wrote:
@BobinCH, the conditions in resort are great.


I guess that depends on your resort but most of Western Switzerland (which is currently open) is not doing well
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Quote:
Some pretty spectacular amounts fell in the Apennines, NW of Florence over the weekend
Doesn't seem to have stopped, & even more forecast until next week Shock

http://youtube.com/v/v8dzf21OgzU
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@BobinCH, a season to miss , it’s only 6th Jan , It’s only just started !

I’ll let you know at the end of March if I’m really upset about not skiing this season .
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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@Rob Mackley, exactly...and the western alps is a rather big place with very varied snowfall amounts. I would say it's one of the best early season snowfalls since 2012/13....eg Chatelweb recorded 80cm fell at 1200m xmas week.

Not much to get excited about here in the immediate outlook unless you prefer sunshine. Eastern end of the alps and along the northern ridge in general are best placed for next week.
Here's UKMO. Other models have the northerly flow further east.



GFS currently shows the FL rising to 1300-1400m in NW mid next week, so would still be snow down to valley level.
ECM also has it cold enough and plenty of precipitation (eg. 12z on YR.NO was showing 47cm Avoriaz next Tues-Fri).

Chance for a second northerly re-load around the 20th ....but that's almost 2 weeks away.

Another feature set to re-load at the same time is a second SSW. Although I look at strat winds frequently, extreme warming events are very hit and miss for the alps. Given that europe already had favourable conditions recently, the strat disturbance was likely to also disturb this current state in the troposphere (warming trend). But these events take time to play out, with the second half of January most likely to see any impact. Reckon the models will struggle more than usual so FI is probably anything beyond a week.

GFS 06z continures to shift the snow further east......a flip around in pressure (and temps) vs last few months

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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@polo, some local spots like the PdS have done well with the recent fronts coming in but the rest of Western and Central Switzerland has not as the chart above clearly shows. Pretty sure snow depths are also down in the Tarentaise?

Let’s hope we get a top up next week
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
It seems Tarentaise is also struggling


I picked Tignes and Val T at random as popular places


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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Rob Mackley wrote:
@BobinCH, a season to miss , it’s only 6th Jan , It’s only just started !

I’ll let you know at the end of March if I’m really upset about not skiing this season .


I was referring to dry forecast out to end January. We started beginning of November and ski to end April so that is half way point of the season.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@polo, here’s Châtel and Avoriaz for you


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FWIW here in Serre Chevalier good coverage still in the valley, 10-15cm with snow on the roofs and trees etc

We've toured N facing in the trees and circa 75cm around 2,100 and yesterday, we were skiing S facing slopes and was 10-15 lower down which is what you'd expect but good above 2,000.

Queyras had more snow last weekend and friends have been touring down there.

One positive is that with the very low temps, currently -14 as I type this at 1,400 and with a very low sun in the sky the snow on S facing is still nigh on powder.

But this drought is a bit of a concern, but often happens in January it seems Confused

This is SSE at around 2,100m and the bushes peaking through sort of show the depth etc but we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the snow on offer, to say the least!

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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@BobinCH, did you not get enough snow for xmas? Very Happy

Some thoughts.....2014/15 and 2015/16 were the worst seasons surely, PdS was green at xmas, and one year it didn't even start snowing at all until the 7th Jan.
That j2ski site doesn't look like they have complete data, eg showing zero snow depth at Flaine, but 200cm at Alp d'Huez, 150cm La Plagne etc
And those charts above only compare vs last 2 years, looks like this season is in line with 18/19 here, but a long term average would be more useful.

As for where we are in the season....lifts here run from mid Dec to mid Apr, so we are really only 3 weeks in. I would say the (normally) important xmas week-NY period was the best of the last 10years. Sure we've had some great November snowfall that was absent this year, but most years have had worse conditions by the time lifts opened / crowds arrived.

Still plenty of time just for January to deliver (hard to say how Feb, Mar and April will turn out Very Happy ).
GFS 00z shows how the pattern now favours north and east.



Lot's of uncertainty even at 120-144hrs, but the second half of Jan is starting to look rather fluid to me.
Some models keep the flow westerly (lots of snow at altitude), others bring a more meridonal jet stream (generally colder)

GEM for example.....heights building towards Greenland.


Further out in FI, GFS (P) looks disturbed

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@polo, yes we had a fabulous powder day on Boxing Day but the snow depths are well down on previous years. Mont Gelé and Gentianes - Tortin are not even open yet and probably need another 50cm until they would open. I don’t see it in the forecast. It is worse further east in the Valais - Zinal/Grimentz for example.

PdS has different challenges, predominantly because of its low height and resulting threat of rain. It’s very cold this year and you got the lions share of the Northern fronts coming in so you are doing ok but overall this is a very poor snow year in the West
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West (Switzerland) Very Happy
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BobinCH wrote:
overall this is a very poor snow year in the West


I disagree, and it's only Jan 8th not Apr 8th. Am off up the hill now to see just how bad things really are....
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Alpinebear wrote:
West (Switzerland) Very Happy


Tarentaise is in France. No charge for the Geography lesson wink
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@BobinCH, maybe be more specific in your original post of where in the west.

No charge for the advice wink
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Play nicely now...

My understanding is that conditions in the western Alps vary more from region to region than is usual, and the distribution is very different to a couple of recent, warmer seasons. Additionally, many of the snowfalls have been accompanied by decently low temperatures so altitude and exposure to the Atlantic is less of a factor in determining current snow depth.

Areas like southern France and the far western fringes of the Alps (e.g. Vercors, Bauges, Chartreuse, NW Chablais) are apparently doing quite well but the interior (e.g. Tarentaise, Maurienne) has had less snowfall as many of the fronts haven't penetrated well into inneralpine regions (and because height hasn't been such a big factor, as above). Inneralpine areas which benefit from retour d'est have also done well (e.g. parts of the upper Maurienne) but this is very localised - so there can be big variations over just a few miles.

Places like Avoriaz and Chatel are closer to the fringes of the Alps than Verbier, so have benefitted more from this weather pattern. And Verbier's higher altitude (ski area, not the resort) hasn't had the usual advantage in terms of snow retention that it usually would. Plus I would imagine @BobinCH's favoured off piste routes require more snow than much of the PdS and its grassy terrain.

Either way, I would gladly trade places with @BobinCH right now, even if it is "the season to miss"! wink
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Yikes!!! Er, I mean, OH BOY!!! Toofy Grin

This bad boy is on his way to the West Coast. Open up the hatches and let it snow!!!

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