Skiers rejoice! Snow’s coming

Forecasters say ski resorts can expect decent snowfall - but it's not coming in time for a white Christmas in France

24 December 2014

ANYONE hoping for the chance to hit the ski slopes in France should rejoice because experts say snow is finally on its way - but it won't get here in time for Christmas.

As reported, an absence of snow marred the beginning of the ski season - but there’s finally some good news on the way.

Sadly the snow won’t arrive in time for France to experience its first official white Christmas since 2010, when a month of usually cold weather meant even Paris had 3cm of snow, while Strasbourg was blanketed in as much as 26cm of the white stuff.

National forecaster Météo-France has forecast that Christmas Eve will be wet but mild for most of northern France, with temperatures of up to 12C expected in Paris. The wet weather will move into central France by the evening, while the south is expected to remain generally cloudy but dry.

On Christmas Day, small snowfalls are expected above 1,500m in the Alps and Massif Central, 1,200m in the Jura mountains and as low as 1,000m in the Vosges. Most of the rest of the country should be dry and clear - though it will be cooler in the north than of late, and it may rain in the south-west.

More significant snowfall is expected at the weekend, bringing with it welcome relief for ski resorts, some of which this year have endured their worst start to the season since 1989.

Météo Consult forecaster Cyrille Duchesne believes that ski resorts across France can expect falls of 20 to 30cm of snow at “medium altitude” this weekend, while a noticeable drop in temperature means it will stick around.

And the cooler conditions will also mean that resorts will finally be able to make use of snow cannon to open pistes that are still without snow after the weekend. Until now, temperatures have been too high to use artificial snow.

Mr Duchesne added that he expected conditions to remain favourable for skiing for several weeks to come.

Val d'Isère snow photo: Atout France/Jean François Tripelon-Jarry

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