Tag Archives: snow forecast

Alpine weather forecast

We often get asked what the weather is like in the Alps. And where we get our forecast from. There are loads of resources available. I rarely use just one, I get used to putting them together to get an overview of the situation.

Our favourite forecast is from an amateur forecaster in Chamonix, it’s good for most of the Haute Savoie. We find it works fine in St Gervais, Samoens and Morzine too.

http://chamonix-meteo.com/bul/metPreMatFr.php taken from the http://chamonix-meteo.com/ website.

We often use Snow-Forecast for long term trends, it’s free up until 6 days however don’t get too hung up on the actual numbers. It should be renamed rain-forecast in the summer.


And then MeteoBlue, this goes into more depth and forecasts further into the future.


If you want to get back to basics then there is always the pressure charts. The best are probably from the Met Office


For a more micro idea of the current rain/snow there is a real time radar, this is great for picking dry periods between showers.


Webcams in the Haute Savoie.

When things are a bit grey in the valleys, we use the webcams to see what is happening on the mountain!

The Lindarets Webcam http://m.webcam-hd.com/vallee-d-aulps/les-lindarets

The plateau at La Grande Terche http://m.webcam-hd.com/vallee-d-aulps/plateau-st-jean-d-aulps/

The summit (Sommet des Tetes) at La Grande Terche http://m.webcam-hd.com/vallee-d-aulps/roc-d-enfer

Various webcams at Avoriaz http://www.avoriaz.com/en/discovering/interactive-tour/webcams

All the webcams in Chamonix http://www.chamonix.com/webcam,12,en.html

And these ones at the end of a high valley on the Italian side of Mt Blanc. http://www.comune.valsavarenche.ao.it/it/web-cam

When there is a thunderstorm it can be fun seeing where the lightning is striking. This site shows the real-time strikes and is very accurate.





Snow Forecast for the Alps

Looking for an accurate snow forecast for the Alps? There are many to choose from, all if which give a different view. I am an avid weather watcher and find that using a wide range of tools gives me a pretty good idea of what the weather will be up to. In fact scrap “snow forecast” and swap for “precipitation forecast”, it doesn’t always snow!

The first place I go to is Chamonix Meteo:


this forecast is compiled by an amateur forecaster for the Chamonix valley. You’ll find this forecast pinned up in the shops and sometimes Tourist Offices too. Much to the dismay of France Meteo who would prefer the local commerces pay for their weather forecast! This weather forecast is often updated twice a day, sometime around 8am and then again at 6pm. Its got a good English translation too.

Another amateur set-up is Météo Léman, as you might guess from the title, it is good for those of us based in the Chablais and the Jura too. In fact you are as well just subscribing to their Facebook page as they post more updates on there.


The next website I head to is Snow Forecast (.com):


these guys provide animated maps and also a longer (pay) forecast, I used to pay for this longer forecast but don’t need to any more, thanks to the other websites further down the list. If you read too much into the snow depth numbers you might be disappointed. I find one of the most useful bits of this forecast is the temperature (freezing level) graph. Clearly visible here. This weekend it looks like we will need to wear shorts!

snow forecast

For a longer range forecast I head to MeteoBlue 


this website gives a nice graphical representation of the weather, but as you can see the temperature graph looks quite different from the one above. It’s because they include the diurnal variation, more accurate but less intuitive.

meteo blue

MeteoBlue is full of other useful representations too. This one is on the “14 day” tab. It’s for the same period as the previous screenshots. I think from this we can be sure of a little precipitation on Friday but that the week after there is a 50% chance it will be unsettled (so that doesn’t really tell us much after the weekend).

14 day

Don’t forget the weather radar either. These give a real time view and predictions for the precipitation over the coming hours. France Meteo and Meteo Swiss are the source of this data. I tend to use the Swiss one:


these are only interesting when there is precipitation, not that great as I am writing this. Though it does look like it’s raining over the Ligurian coast of Italy just now.


The Avalanche forecast gives a sober report of the actual snow conditions and an unbiased assessment of snow depth, recent snow falls and a prediction for the next day. This comes out at about 4pm each day with a forecast for the next day, it’s regional too, so for the Haute Savoie it is split into Aravis / Chablais / Mont Blanc.


avy report

We are getting a bit more in depth here. On MeteoBlue you have access to more than a dozen versions of the forecast. Sometimes you may hear people talk about the Multimodel forecasts, GFS Forecasts, (the wiggly lines), these are the source of all these weather forecasts, basically the various weather forecasting authorities run their mathematical models and these forecasts try and pull them all together. The more the lines follow each other, the more the models agree and the more reliable the forecast. Here is a link to the MeteoBlue Multimodel:



Wunderground is an interesting site. It aggregates all the personal weather stations that you can buy and connect to the web. You can’t always trust these have been well sited but the results can be interesting. It’s information like this that means the likes of Apple and Google can now tell you the actual temperature outside via your phone. Quite bizarre but very accurate. 


weather map

More resources.

Snow depths from around the Alps, temperatures and recent snow fall too.


Every link you can imagine on the subject, all the Alps and Switzerland.


The webcams, of which there are now hundreds to choose from. I’ll include the ones I use for the Portes du Soliel.

Têtes (St Jean d’Aulps, pictured below) http://m.webcam-hd.com/vallee-d-aulps/roc-d-enfer

Tete at St Jean d'Aulps

Pointe des Mossettes http://portesdusoleil.livecam360.net/

Avoriaz http://avoriaz.roundshot.com/ 

Chavannes (Les Gets) http://m.webcam-hd.com/lesgets/lesgets_chavannes

Mt Chery http://m.webcam-hd.com/lesgets/les_gets_sommet-chery

Lac de Montriond http://m.webcam-hd.com/vallee-d-aulps/lac-montriond

Linderets http://m.webcam-hd.com/vallee-d-aulps/les-lindarets

Plateau St Jean d’Aulps http://m.webcam-hd.com/vallee-d-aulps/plateau-st-jean-d-aulps/