You've booked your ski holiday and are likely becoming obsessed with the Alps weather forecast. Some would say it is an addiction but we prefer to call it good winter holiday preparation.
So what is the weather in the Alps like in winter time?
Whitebeam provides information on the usual weather conditions in the Alps during the winter months and gets you prepared for it.
As well as providing the current 7 day forecast for the main ski resorts in the Tarentaise Valley - situated in Savoie, northern Alps.
Alps weather - snowstorms
In the northern Alps in winter visitors can ski in almost all weathers, however we discourage being caught in a snowstorm. It's an experience, just not much fun.
As a beginner, or even intermediate skier, snow storms can be quite scary as snow floats all around you and challenges vision. We call this a 'white out' and you often do not know which way is up!
Always check the weather before you leave the accommodation, and stay close to home if weather is predicted to be bad.
If you are in a lesson - don't sweat it! A good instructor will of already checked the weather forecast, and will know the slopes. Stick with them!
Snow storms can happen during any of the winter months, but are less likely towards the spring in March and April.
Check out New Gen's post - Skiing in Bad Visibility:How to Battle a Whiteout
Alps weather - sunshine
Experienced skiers prefer a good amount of snow just before arriving and a beautiful blue sky whilst skiing. The recipe for a perfect ski holiday!
In February and March it is often still snowing in the Alps with some glorious sunny days, so you may find this the best time to visit.
In April, the snow starts to melt, but the days are mostly full of sunshine. Lifts tend to stay open a little later because of the longer days. The perfect weather for relaxed skiing and long mountain lunches.
We hope you will find the weather good for your ski holiday.
Ski resort apps for winter weather
Lots of resorts now use apps to communicate weather systems with visitors.
The ski resort apps are really useful when planning a day of skiing, as they will let you know which lifts are closed due to bad weather and how long for. So you can hop into a restaurant to keep warm!
Apps also provide information such as wind speeds, expected snowfall and how much sun to expect.
We've provided links to many of the apps for ski resort's in the Tarentaise Valley, at the bottom of this post.
Skiing in the Alps in the winter
When booking a ski holiday one thing is always unpredictable - the winter weather.
However France is one of the best countries in the world for care of pistes and avalanche control and avalanche control. As the northern Alps are one of the oldest skiing areas, these guys have a lot of experience in this.
Piste is a french word which means track or trail. French ski resorts 'piste' the mountains, which means that they use large machines called 'piste bashers' to create runways down the mountains.
The pistes are well signed by colour signs - green are for green (beginner) pistes, blue signs for blue pistes, red signs for red pistes and black for black (advanced) pistes, respectively.
Each piste is then marked with coloured poles on either side of the slope. All poles are red, but the poles marking the right hand side of the piste have an orange top.
In these ways, skiers and snowboarders can safely find their way around the mountains.
Warning signs always mark dangerous areas, so avoid going any where near them, even for a look if you are unsteady.
Resorts constantly check weather conditions, including wind speeds. Ski lifts will be closed if weather is deemed too dangerous for visitors.
Keep an eye out at the top, and bottom of each lift to determine if your route is viable.
Often resorts have signs letting skiers know which lifts are closed. Some are digital ski maps, where certain lifts will be marked as closed.
Off piste skiing in the Alps in the winter
Large amounts of snow might seem fun, but often causes risky snow conditions especially if you choose to ski off-piste.
With or without snowfall, we categorically advise to never ski off-piste without a mountain guide, trained and with experience in the area.
Even when going with a guide always have the correct safety and avalanche equipment.
Pack for the winter weather in the Alps
It is well worth taking a look at the weather links below so you can plan what to pack for the winter weather here in the Alps.
We advise that everyone packs (and wears) sun cream each and every day. The sun often appears in the Alps and it is extremely strong on the mountain, not to mention the reflection off the snow if you are skiing. Use an SPF lip balm too, to avoid blistering lips.
Ski goggles and sunglasses are very important on any ski trip. In bad weather it is especially hard to ski without goggles, as flakes get into your eyes at speed.
On a nice sunny day, with no snowfall, or sitting on a restaurant terrace, sunglasses are a welcome rest from goggles.
Keep a cheap pair in the top pocket of your jacket, where you are less likely to sit on them.
Don’t forget we are proud to be in partnership with Bloc Eyewear where you can get 10% discount MINIMUM. Off their entire range. Just enter: WHITERIDES as your promo code.
Pack lots of layers! Base layers are really useful in the colder months. Over them layer up with a t-shirt, a hoodie and then a good ski jacket.
Beginners may find themselves stripping layers of clothes off, as leaning to ski or snowboard is hard work. That said do have warm clothes at hand for breaks and lunch time. Body temperature will soon drop.
Weather in Les Arcs, France
Download the Les Arcs mobile app, Yuge
Les Arcs is a great place to ski as it offers different terrains and pistes for all Les Arcs weather conditions. Some are more wind protected than others.
Les Arcs 2000 and Les Arcs 1950 are open areas and perfect for blue skies.
In contrast, Peisey-Vallandry, with its tree lined slopes and off-piste forest runs, provides enjoyable skiing in any weather condition. We don't recall Peisey-Vallandry ever being closed due to bad weather conditions, when the rest of Les Arcs is closed due to strong winds.
Keep up-to-date with weather in Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry with our weather links:
Les Arcs Official Weather Site - The official Les Arcs website.
Snow Forecast Les Arcs - From snow-forecast.com
Meteo France Les Arcs - Meteo is the French national meteorological service.
Weather in Tignes, France
Download the mobile app for Tignes
Because it is high up in the mountains at 2000 metres, Tignes gets early snow and usually opens at the end of November. It is normally the first resort in the Tarentaise Valley to open.
You can now ski on the Grande Motte Glacier between June to September in Tignes.
Keep up-to-date with Tignes weather information and snow reports using our useful links:
Tignes Official Site - Tignes official website
Snow Forecast Tignes - From snow-forecast.com
Meteo France Tignes Meteo is the French national meteorological service
Weather in Val d’Isère, France
Download the mobile app for Val d’Isère
Although linked and very close (in the grand scheme), Val d’Isère weather differs from Tignes' due to a 'bowl' that the town sits in, and the different ski slopes available.
When you arrive in Val d’Isère keep up-to-date with all the weather info on Val d’Isère weather and Val d’Isère snow report by checking out our useful weather links:
Val d’Isère Official Site
Accu Weather Val d’Isère
[Meto France Val d’Isère(http://www.meteofrance.com/previsions-meteo-france/tignes/73320)
Getting to the Alps in winter weather
Masses of snow likely comes hand in hand with airport delays, long transfers, difficult driving conditions, as roads are closed just as you arrive near resort.
Please bear with us if you get caught up in the Tarentaise traffic due to the weather. We always do our best to safely transport you to your accommodation or airport.
All our mini buses come with winter tyres and snow chains as standard and all our drivers are trained to drive in different winter and snow conditions.
Read more about Whiterides, our fleet and our history.
Here at Whiterides we can’t predict the weather but we can help you decide on where to go to guarantee the best ski trip possible in the French Alps this winter.
Firstly, consider your group and what each member is looking to get out of their ski trip. Are you all expert skiers, or are you all beginners? Are some only interested in the skiing whilst others more keen on the non skiing activities?
How important is the nightlife to your group or how often do you plan to eat out, remembering there is a lot of cheese available in the Savoie.
Even though we can’t guarantee blue bird skiing by taking a closer look at our popular ski resorts detail pages you will be able to make a considered choice on where to go this winter, based on what the skiing and snowboarding is like, what the resort as a whole has to offer and how long it will take to get their from your chosen airport:
Take a closer look at our homepage and get a quick transfer quote now: - Whiterides transfer quote