As the first flakes of the season start to fall on the family-friendly French Alps resort of La Plagne, the resort’s snow specialist has spoken out about his predictions for this season’s snowfall.
Dubbed the ‘Sherlock Holmes of Snow’ for his detailed interest in the minute particulars of snow formation, Claude Schneider, climatologist and snow specialist at La Plagne, has worked in snow studies for 30 years. He also has the resort’s best-known moustache. Armed with the very best equipment, he examines the resort’s snow cover every day, studying particles, recording data and analysing possible scenarios in avalanche risk areas.
Winter 2017/18 saw La Plagne beat all records in the last 30 years, with a total of 9.22 m of the white stuff falling between 1 November 2017 and 30 April 2018. This has left many wondering whether winter 2018/19 will see a repeat performance – or even better?
Reflecting on last winter, Claude says:
“After several average seasons in terms of snow totals, the 2017/2018 season proved outstanding, with a cumulative 9.22 metres of snow at 2000 m altitude, the best cumulative of my entire career and well above average (580 cm). The average height of snow on the ground last winter was again a record at 190 cm, the highest for more than 20 years, thanks to the rather cold temperatures observed.”
A veritable goldmine of information, Claude continues with his predictions for the coming season:
“Looking ahead to the 2018/2019 season, long-term forecasts are extremely sensitive and often unreliable, but currently they are looking rather favourable. There appears to be a cold tendency to the temperatures and humidity which should circulate on our massifs. Statistically, we tend to observe small cycles of 2/3 years, which could lead us to remain optimistic for the season to come and to think that the future cumulation will again be higher than average. The phenomena of annual distribution of precipitation, after a very dry summer and autumn season, also leads us to think that another more humid cycle could begin at the beginning of the year 2019.”
This winter therefore, all eyes will be on the skies – and on the slopes – to see if the Sherlock Holmes of Snow’s predictions for La Plagne are correct.
La Plagne opens for the winter season on 15 December. Ski passes for La Plagne are priced at €52 pp for one day or €269 pp for six days. Paradiski passes, including Les Arcs, are priced at €60 pp for one day or €305 pp for six days.
One week’s self-catering in Plagne Centre is priced from €67.50 pp / £59 pp, based on four sharing a studio apartment.
Fly from London Gatwick to Geneva with EasyJet from £52 pp return.
For more information about La Plagne, visit www.la-plagne.com or call +33 (0)4 79 09 79 79