We woke to a veiled sky this morning in Tignes and Val D’Isere which we were all expecting to break up by 10am. So we set off for Val D’Isere for a skinning trip up Mont Roup. Sadly the clearance did not happen until after lunch so we aborted and I set off for Bourg to do the shopping. The big news is how warm it is, Bourg still has snow but there was a definite feeling of spring down there. The crocuses are pushing their way through and the birds were in full song. As I type it is 10 degsC in Le Lac, that’s 30 degs more than early morning 10 days ago! The icicles are dropping all around and there is Chinese water torture going on in my back bedroom as it drips onto the Velux. If you look at the photo you can see EDF have been preparing for the ‘big thaw’ as the Lac du Chevril is nearly empty, you can see most of the old bridge in the La Daille gorge.
And now for the weather, it doesn’t really matter which song as long as its by:
Wet Wet Wet!
There is no sugar coating it, tomorrow in the villages is going to be miserable. It will start raining up to 2200m after midnight and then up to 2500m by lunchtime or thereabouts. It will be cloudy all day and the wind will pick up in the afternoon. The sun may peak out in the afternoon. This is going to cause havoc in the snowpack and the avalanche report is one of the longest I have seen. It will be risk level 3 rising to 4 below 2300m by lunchtime. The forecaster (Thierry Arnou) discusses records: the lower part of the snow pack has hard layers not seen for 40 years and fragile layers formed during the polar blast – one of the coldest in 20 years. Down low the rapid thaw and rain means stay on the piste! There may be a chance that they have to blast areas above the roads. Sunday will be cloudy, breezy and snowy down to 1800m, the sun may pop out in the afternoon for a bit. Monday will also be snowy down to 1400m, it will be breezy and the sun may appear in the morning this time. Tuesday looks like a day of sunny periods and snow showers down to 1400m. So spring may have sprung today but winter is not yet over. The rest of the week looks unsettled.
For the travellers, providing overnight fog clears at Bristol, Leeds, Luton and Stansted (it is forecast to go by 5am) the only thing you need worry about is getting wet as you cross the carpark or stand in the queue at passport control. Some of the showers will be heavy (especially the Manchester soakers). Over here it is the same but the cloud and visibility is forecast to be fit for flying at Chambery. The roads will be busy (a bit busier than last week) with 31000 vehicles on the way up and 32000 on the way down. This level of traffic will mean slow moving traffic at the usual spots but snow chains will probably not be required!