Weather: Almost a meter of snow on the Pyrenees, freezing temperatures expected next week


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The first flakes of the season have already fallen on the mountains of the Pyrenees. On this long weekend, snow accumulations reach between 60 and 80 cm on the Pyrenees chain: something to delight the ski resorts.

These days, just look up to the Pyrenees to see that the peaks are now white. The ski resorts of the Pyrenean chain saw the mountains clothe with a snowpack: the first of the season. Involved: a winter front and snowy precipitation at high altitude. According to Meteo France, between 60 and 80 centimeters of fresh snow were expected this weekend above 1800 meters. Cumulative snow is likely to reach 80 centimeters by now. According to Meteo France, still, at 2500 meters of altitude, the accumulations could reach the bar of 100 centimeters of snow.

Meteo France has even placed some departments in yellow alert "avalanches" including the Ariege, Hautes-Pyrenees and Haute-Garonne.

Vigilance yellow avalanches.

Vigilance yellow avalanches.
                                    – Meteo France

Cold wave

Meteo France specifies that unusual temperatures for this time of year will be present on the thermometer from the middle of the week, from this Wednesday 13 November.

This cold snap can be explained by a cold and humid north wind that will generate a lot of rain, wind and snow at medium altitude but also in the lowlands. By publishing its temperature map, Meteo France shows the state of the forecasts for the afternoon of this Wednesday when the thermometer will display six degrees on average, and two degrees at least in Savoie.

This trend will last and even get worse at the end of the week. In several regions, between Thursday and Saturday, temperatures will be similar to that of January, which is usually the coldest month of the year.

Thus, for the whole week, the minimum temperatures will be between -2 and 7 ° degrees from north to south, and up to 10 degrees from the Mediterranean.

"At the moment, there is no question of opening"

In Bagneres-de-Luchon, the station of Superbagneres has been covered with a thin coat of snow since Thursday. This is enough for snow lovers and holidaymakers who are already thinking about the next mountain holiday at the end of the year. And even if we can rejoice about 20 centimeters of snow fell on the slopes of Peyragudes, at 1600 meters above sea level, it is necessary to keep and not go out skis or sled. Not yet. "It's true, it's been snowing and it's a good sign," agrees Herve Pouneau, of the Haute-Garonne Montagne Syndicate. The snow came out this weekend at 800 meters, one third of the mountain.

So much so that in Peyresourde (Hautes-Pyrenees), we have already started to ski for some privileged:

"Between 10 and 20 centimeters at the Mourtis station, a dozen at Bourg-d'Oueil, 20 at Superbagnere, it's a good start. But there is still no question of openness, even though we announce falls in the coming days. And to argue more than a month of school holidays. while there is no underlayer. And to have an underlay, we need a much colder ground than it is now. "It's the same with the use of snow guns that need low temperature, -5 at -6 degrees, to work with convincing results.

In Mourtis, the snow started to whiten the ski slopes of the resort. If the weather oscillates today between rain and snow, it is promising in this autumn period, knowing that the station which has about twenty snow cannons has just equipped with 16 additional guns.

For all that, Herve Pouneau sees a good omen appear a snowy end of year: "Currently, it is premature to consider an opening soon, weather conditions are currently random. And then, we finish the work in the ski resorts. "

"Consolidate the snowpack"

Snow side to come, this weekend, the cold can be an ally. Laurent Garcia, the director of Peyragudes (Hautes-Pyrenees) is confident: "This will help consolidate the snowpack to resist the use of the slopes during the Christmas holidays, for which we will be open. The station plans a partial opening of its tracks between December 6th and 9th. The final opening is scheduled for the Christmas holidays on December 14th.

At the Pic du Midi, the photos are still impressive here. On site, the station plans an opening on December 6th. The resort boasts a game of 7 differences, between two photos. The first was taken eight days ago, the second this Sunday.

In Cauterets, not far from Tarbes, we also have a smile. There are nearly 80 centimeters of snow accumulation at the beginning of November:

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Sliding is already impatient, as this weekend, Tarbes hosts the International Free Ride Film Festival and the Ski Bradery, at the Parc des Expositions from 8 to 10 November.

Ariege: mandatory equipment

On the heights of Ariege also snow has made its effect: special equipment is mandatory on the RN 20 from Ax-les-Thermes towards the Principality of Andorra and Bourg-Madame. As a reminder, this warning is accompanied by a traffic restriction for heavy goods vehicles weighing more than 19 tonnes. These are prohibited from Foix, except to provide local service to Ax-les-Thermes.

For its part, the departmental council of Ariege, via its service Inforoute09, announced that the Col de Pailheres is closed until November 14 "because of snow".

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