Quite a day in Tignes and Val D’Isere – a touch of the Kate Bush this morning (out on the wild windy moors). We awoke to a blizzard which was mainly wind and reblown snow. On the slopes there was a good 10cm where it had not been wind scoured. The lifts were a little late opening, a coffee soon fixed that (normally I would have stopped in bed but 9 o’clock board school was calling for one of the mates!). Any way a couple of runs down Palafour were very pleasant including the east face of the Bec Rouge. The light improved markedly and there was the occasional patch of milky blue. The rest of the resort opened progressively and there is nice snow on piste all over, it did get a little bumpy. Off piste there was fresh snow but quite heavy (not surprising given the wind), so it was nice to be on the wide skis. After lunch the weather was OK but sadly closed in so a few more runs before, as Lord Flashheart would say, ‘back in time for tea and medals’.
I am only going to forecast for 3 days as it is way too complex a picture to suggest what might happen on Saturday. So the snow will continue moderately all night and the wind will pick up through the night, not to the extent that the charts suggested yesterday, but still windy. The wind will also change direction in the night giving the pisteurs a bigger headache as they have 2 ‘lee slopes’ to think about. So a slow start in the morning with plenty of explosives! It will also be very moist in the lower villages, I think Les Brevieres may get away with sleet, but by mid afternoon the snowline will be where it belongs down the valley. Just keep an eye on the links as the wind will strengthen in the afternoon, tomorrow night will be very windy/galeforce. The snow will continue through the night into Thursday, when it will be very windy and the snowline will rise from 1500m to 1900m, so a soggy finish in the villages. After a windy and snowy night Friday will start with snow down to 2000m but the weather will improve in the afternoon on current predictions. So the big question – how much snow. Difficult to tell, it will depend on the height and where the winds blow it to, but by Friday afternoon above the snowline I think a guesstimate of 70-90cm would be in the mid range. In higher gullies you could have it well above the waist!