A number of people looking forward to visiting Méribel have expressed worries about the unusually warm winter. |
So, what’s the reality and what can you expect to find?
Late 2015 Winter
Whatever your position is on the subject of global warming, it’s an indisputable fact that the winter of late 2015 has been unusually mild in much of Western Europe. Many countries have seen almost early spring-like weather for much of the pre-New Year winter and early January 2016 hasn’t shown much change either.
Now for many, that’s not exactly bad news, because commuters, businesses and those people that enjoy an outdoor life don’t usually think highly of wintertime. However, if you’re a winter sports fan, a mild winter is no fun.
For those visiting Méribel in the near future, the ongoing warmer temperatures might be concerning. Understandably, some skiers and snowboarders are worried about whether or not they’re going to find snow upon arrival!
The first thing to remember is that when visiting Méribel, you’ll be in the French Alps at a maximum altitude of 2952m. So, what you see out of your bedroom window isn’t likely to be much of a guide.
At that altitude, there is snow around – and a fair bit of it. Having said that though, it’s fair to say that so far snow falls have been below average and that is making a difference.
The good news is that ski resorts have been working flat-out to address the problem and they have an impressive array of kit – including snow cannons – to help them keep good snows levels on the slopes. So, most of the pistes themselves are good and ready for recreation.
Where the reduced snow has had an impact is off-piste and at lower levels. However, even there it’s not necessary to despair.
At this stage, weather forecasts are worth mentioning. Compared to UK weather, the conditions in the Alps are a bit more predictable. The weather here is usually a little more easily and reliably forecasted, though it’s true that nobody can actually promise anything. Even so, at the time of writing the forecast looks good with the weather turning colder over the next few days or weeks and more snow widely expected through the rest of 2016’s early winter.
It’s worth saying also that it’s not that unusual to have ‘low snow’ scares in the Alps during December. Seasoned skiers in the area and locals alike know that late-year skiing isn’t always guaranteed to have lots and lots of fresh snow.
So, if you’re thinking about visiting Méribel, check the resort-specific forecasts and don’t get too worried about that guy you’ve just seen walking along in the street with his shorts on! It’s going to be very different once you’re up in those beautiful mountains.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you're visiting Meribel for a ski holiday, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you get to and from the airport swiftly and safely with your luggage and ski equipment.
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