"Snow next week", says Meteo France!!
In the streets of Chamonix, the world capital of mountaineering, ski-ing aficionados look up each morning with a frown. "Storm... of blue sky, over Mont Blanc." Elsewhere in France, it's the same story.
Nothing, not even the smallest snowflake to ski on during September. October. November...! Last Friday, with the temperature drop in the valley, the snow guns in Les Houches were fired-up, but didn't really
create a wintry atmosphere. "La Verte des Houches", which is to host the downhill World Cup in January, has never so aptly named: lovely, deep expanses of... grass.
But now, on the digital computer horizon, weather models are starting to predict... snow! Cold air from Canada is, as we speak, heading to Europe!
"We can now clearly see cold air coming from Canada over the Atlantic and heading for Europe", the Chamonix meteorologist, Yan Giezendanner, assurres us. "It will soon push away the warm anticyclone that's sitting ontop of us". Basically, this means humidity and therefore... snow.
Like Yan, Météo France predicts a "gradual release of the anticyclone" pattern of blue skies and mild temperatures in the coming days. "It's
been in the pipeline for several days now", says Météo France. "Bad weather & snow will be with us by the end of November and early December. " So, is this the end of the "Big Blue"?
It would seem so. In its "mountain" forecast, Météo France have announced, with a rather high confidence index, "heavy snow on Monday and Tuesday." Meanwhile, Yan Giezendanner predicts a couple of weeks (maybe even three weeks) of snowy weather, with the rain-snow altitude shifting between the altitude of Chambéry (ie 271m) and 1500 metres. "It will not give us the equivalent of previous good winters, but it should ensure a good season."
You heard it here first!
MeteoNews in Switzerland, has given the same forecast, predicting a "cooler opening this weekend."
To prove that the confidence index is good ("4 / 5"), French, European and U.S. computer models have all come to the same conclusion, giving the same information for the end of the month. This, infact, is how these well-known indices are established: the more the different models agree, the higher the confidence index.
For our purposes, in Haute-Savoie, the snow for the winter season 2011-2012 should be what we're all hoping for.
Now, we just need to hope that the ground is sufficiently frozen for the snow-base to be preserved.