BACK TO WINTER! (photo J. Cummings)

After another weekend of very high temperatures for this time of the year, this coming week will be much cooler in the N French Alps. It will be back to winter with snow showers on and off throughout the week in the mountains – even down to 1000 m as the week goes on.

Natural snow cover above 2000 m or so remains very good for the time of year (as it has been all season). At altitudes below 1600 m it’s pretty non-existent.

At the time of writing (Sunday) great smooth spring snow conditions are in place. Over the last few days the snow has been warming up and softening very rapidly – much quicker than it normally does at this time of year. Working with slope exposures has been the way to make the most of this smooth spring skiing, beginning with the E facing ones (or even the more S facing ones), then W round to N facing, following the direction of the rising sun. See our blog Skiing the Smooth for top tips on this.

This will all change this coming week, with lower temperatures and precipitation expected. It’s going to be back to ‘winter’ with showers on and off throughout the week, falling as snow down to  2200 m or so on Monday (rainfall lower), but even down to 1000 m or lower later in the week. Indeed, following last weekend’s ‘heatwave’ with temperatures 10 to 12° C above normal for the time of year, for this coming week temperatures are going to be 3 to 5° below the seasonal average. From one extreme to another!

From Tuesday onwards, with the dropping temperatures and fresh snow (particularly at higher altitudes, which could possibly receive 20 to 50 cm), those higher resorts that remain open could see some great conditions. Visibility may not always be good, but we may well be back to powder snow combined with bits of spring snow skiing.

Avalanche Bulletin

Current avalanche risk across most of the N French Alps is around a 2/3 out of 5, with the level increasing as the day warms up and the snow melts and gets heavier. Plenty of natural wet snow avalanches have occurred in the last few days with the above average temperatures for the time of season. See our article on wet snow avalanches for more info.

See Météo France avalanche danger level & bulletins for N. French Alps clicking on your forecast area.

Many wet snow avalanches came down last week due to the sustained above 0° temps overnight for the first time this season. See this image by Wayne Watson.

For this coming week, it remains to be seen how much fresh snow comes down, but a good 30-50 cm is forecast for much for the N French Alps & surrounding areas.

Weather forecast : Mon 15th to Fri 19th April thanks to Météo Alpes

Just when we thought summer was almost here, it’s back to ‘winter’ conditions this week, with snow showers on and off. Temperatures much cooler than of late.

MON 15th:  Following a weekend bathed in sunshine with well above average temperatures for the time of year, the weather will change dramatically on Monday. For most areas of the N French Alps, it will be a cloudy morning. By afternoon, it will be precipitating with snowfall expected at 2500 m or so, dropping down to 2100 m later on (rain below that). 5 to 10 cm of snow are expected at 2400 m. O°C at 3000 m, dropping to 2400 m later. Light SW wind, turning NW.

TUES 16th: Temperatures much cooler than of late. 0°C at 1800 m, dropping to 1500 m. A generally cloudy day with light showers, particularly in the N of the region (Haute Savoie and the N part of Savoie), continuing into the evening. Snow showers down to 1300 m.

WED 17th: A very similar day to Tuesday, possibly a little cooler. Cloudy with snowfall down to 1000/1200 m.

THURS 18th: Thursday will be the coldest day of the week. Remaining cloudy with snow showers down to 900/1000 m.

FRI 19th: Getting brighter, but temperatures remaining low.

NEXT FEW DAYS: Dry and sunny.


5 day weather forecast for La Plagne by

Tip of the Week

Despite this week’s change in the weather, great smooth spring skiing conditions will return soon! So check out our article ‘Spring skiing tips, Skiing the Smooth’ to see how to make the most of skiing these conditions. And our video below on how to make the most of spring snow, by skiing the smooth…..

Safety is Freedom!