Mountain weather report: lots of snow but bitter cold
After a very tricky late December and first half of January in the mountains, forecasts are delivering on all their promises with a very active return of disturbances this week and in air cold enough to snow at all altitudes. The Pyrenean mass is best served, and needs it, after a prodigious thaw period for the season. But in general, all massifs are well served.
Heavy snow in the Pyrenees with mixed weather this weekend
During the week, 80 cm to 1 m of snow fell at an altitude of 1800 m in the west of the Pyrenees, 35 to 70 cm in the center and 15 to 30 cm in the east. You will therefore benefit from good snow conditions with biting cold in the morning, as temperatures can drop below -10°C above 1800m altitude.
On this side of the sky, clouds will predominate on Saturday with some light snowfall, especially to the east of the chain. On Sunday, the trend will improve with an alternation of openings and cloudy periods with rare shale. Be aware, however, of the avalanche risk which will remain high (level 4/5) this weekend on many of the mountains.
Snow in good quantity and quality in Massif-Central
This week, it fell between 20 and 50 cm in Massif-Central relief. The Cantal Mountains are best served at 40 to 50 cm high, followed by the Sancy/Mont Dore mountains at 30 to 40 cm high at around 1400 m. With the cold lingering behind these snowfalls it is possible to ski in very good quality snow.
As for the weather this weekend, a humid stream from north to northeast will bring with it a lot of clouds that will block our mountains with intermittent small snowfalls. The north wind will be strong! So protect yourself well, because you will often feel icy cold if exposed to the wind.
Sun, but a very cold morning this weekend in the Alps
Snowfall has been particularly heavy in the Northern Alps in recent days. On average, 40 to 60 cm of snow falls at 1500 m and often more than 70 cm above 2000 m. Vercors and Haute-Maurienne are a bit underserved. Avalanche risk is marked in most of the massif (3/5). The Southern Alps receive less snow than the northern Alps, with an average of 20 to 30 cm around 1500 m.
Weather conditions promise a good weekend in the Alps with some sunshine and some overcast periods without consequence. Only a few snowflakes were able to fly over the Northern Prealps on Sunday. Temperatures are often freezing early in the morning, averaging -10 to -15°C, but locally -20 to -25°C where it is best sheltered from the wind. In the afternoon the temperature will remain negative, but the feeling of the sun will be more pleasant, outside the areas exposed to the wind.
Vosges and Jura: Saturday weather is better than Sunday
What a joy to find snow in abundance in the Vosges and Jura! After being absent for nearly a month, snow has returned since last Sunday. This week it falls between 20 and 35 cm at about 1000 m altitude and 40 to 50 cm at about 1400 m.
After some snowfall over the Vosges during the night from Friday to Saturday, we’ll find drier weather during the day on Saturday with the sky divided between cloud and sun. On Sunday, the sky will be overcast with light snowfall overall. The cold will be intense throughout the weekend, with severe morning frosts and an icy feeling during the day, exposed to the northerly winds.
In the Jurassic, sunny weather should often predominate on Saturdays with the weather remaining dry. Watch for severe frost early in the morning, with temperatures occasionally dropping below -15°C. On Sundays, the sky will be cloudy and some snowflakes may occasionally flutter. The northeast wind will be icy on the exposed relief. Cover yourself well with gloves, hats and warm clothes…
For those who will be continuing their stay in the mountains next week, the calm and cold weather will continue for a few more days. No snow disturbances in sight until at least the middle of next week. Feel free to consult our mountain weather section for detailed forecasts on ski resorts.