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HAT Off-Piste Snow Report for 12 - 20 February
Snowing pm 12 Feb 2013
WEATHER FORECAST (as reported by Météo-France on 12th February).
Tuesday 12th: Cloudy with light snowfall. Maximum temperature -6 at 2000 m. Light to moderate winds from the N 15-25 km/hr at 2000 m, 40-60 km/hr at 4000 m. Snow dying out tonight, with skies clearing, -14 at 2000 m.
Wednesday 13th: Cold, dry and sunny at altitude. Winds N/NE, increasing in strength with gusts up to 70 km/hr at 3000 m in the afternoon. Maximum temperature -6 at 2000 m.
Thursday 14th: Sunny in the morning, clouding over as the day goes on. Temperatures still below seasonal average. Light winds NW. Light snow during the night.
Friday 15th: Moderate N wind. Temperatures slightly warmer. Very light snow on Friday morning down to low altitudes.
Saturday 16th to Tuesday 19th: Sunny at altitude, with cloud in the valley bottoms (possibility of clouds and a bit of snow creeping up to higher altitudes on Sat/Sun). Light to moderate NW wind. Temperatures remaining below the seasonal norm.
Tuesday 19th & Wednesday 20th: Sunny and dry. Temperatures up to usual levels for the season.
OFF-PISTE SNOW CONDITIONS
Areas of previous cold, deep snow have been affected by yesterday's Foehn and Lombard winds, and we have a mixture of fantastic powder in places and hardened snow in others. Visibility has also been difficult with whiteout conditions, but this should improve from Wednesday. Light snow is falling in Val d'Isere as I write this (Tuesday afternoon) and this should give us a nice "top up" for tomorrow.
There is quite a difference in snow stability in different areas of Savoie (and the Northern French Alps - see below) at the moment. For Savoie: the Bauges area around Chambery has seen a remarkable 40 - 60 cm of fresh snow over the last few days, with more forecast: On all steep slopes in this area there is a marked risk of natural or human-triggered avalanches. In other areas of Savoie, the gusty Foehn, Lombard and southerly winds yesterday have transported the recently fallen cold, light snow to form areas of windslab, particularly on SW to NE facing slopes. Look out particularly for easily triggerable windslab on the lee side of cols and ridges at altitude. There are also "old" areas of windslab persisting on NE facing slopes.
The risk of natural avalanches in Savoie is mostly limited; indeed the avalanche danger rating is at 2 in most of Savoie - e.g. in places like the Haute Tarentaise of Savoie (where Val d'Isère, Tignes, les Arcs, La Plagne and much of the 3 valleys is located - this stands in stark contrast to all of the depatment of Isère which is at a rating of 4.
For Haute Savoie there has been a good amount of snow all over the department and the avalanche rating is at 3 for tomorrow. For the department of Isère (around Grenoble) there's also been a good amount of recent snowfalls avalanche danger rating is at 4 for tomorrow.
For the N. French Alps avalanche bulletins by Météo France see:
TIP OF THE WEEK
Depending where you are, keep a close eye on the avalanche forecast, look out for recent avalanche activity and adapt your decison making (about what slopes to ride) accordingly
We will be updating our blog as much as possible especially if conditions start to look unstable (or if I have some nice photos from a great ski!) onwww.henrysavalanchetalk.com/blog also on twitter.com/HenryOff_Piste
Ride Hard ! Ride Safe
Henry & the HAT Team