Hurry up and clear that roof, because tomorrow you’re going to have to start all over again!
Just when pisteurs and snowplough drivers have managed to catch up on their sleep after round-the-clock shifts to keep runs and streets open and safe, Storm Evi is now making landfall in France – and it looks like it’s about to happen all over again.
Evi is forecast to dump another 50-150cm over the next few days on resorts all across the northern Alps, swooping in from the Atlantic to buffet the mountain range with heavy snow and high winds, making the snowpack dangerously unstable once more. The avalanche danger has dropped from a maximum five to three, or even two in some places. However, it’s set to soar again from tomorrow.
Throughout the remainder of this week a sequence of cold and warm fronts should produce an unsavoury combination of yoyo-ing temperatures and 100kph winds, accompanied by heavy snow at altitude and rain lower down. The storm is likely to cause the temporary closure of lift systems and potentially create havoc for holidaymakers departing or arriving in resorts. The northern French Alps, along with western Switzerland, will bear the brunt on the storm – but fresh snow cover should be widespread.
The return of the tempest comes after a brief and glorious lull in the bad weather. Blue skies over the weekend saw the best ski conditions of the winter in resorts such as Val d’Isere, Tignes, and Sestriere/Sauze d’Oulx after they were hammered with two metres of snow in as many days by a local weather phenomenon. Snow swept up from the Mediterranean in what is called the Retour d’Est, bringing the biggest January fall in at least 30 years to the Haute Maurienne and Haute Tarentaise valleys.
In Val d’Isere owners are struggling to clear overloaded roofs, 200cm banks line the streets, and snowplough workers are left scratching their heads, wondering just where to park the next lot…