ValThorensGuide.co.uk

An independent guide to Val Thorens

View of Mt Blanc from Val Thorens

Val Thorens weather

View from Mont de la Chambre

Here you can find out about Val Thorens weather and check snow reports.

Val Thorens weather forecasts

The latest weather forecast from Météo France is available in various locations in Val Thorens including:

  • outside the tourist office
  • outside the ski patrol office (by the Chamois d'Or)
  • outside the ski pass offices
  • in the Péclet lift station

If you're looking for a forecast on the web, Météo France is a reasonably reliable source.

Val Thorens weather systems

Val Thorens & Mont Blanc from Cime de Caron

The weather and snow conditions have a big impact on a trip to Val Thorens.

Our 'good' winter weather comes from westerly systems, bringing us snow; and anticyclones, which produce sunny days, and cold, clear nights (often lasting for days).

'Bad' weather is usually associated with south or south easterly winds (see the Foehn section below). They carry snow to the Italian side of the Alps, but tend to be dry when they get to us - and all they do is blow the snow from Val Thorens down the Belleville valley.

May the best Val Thorens weather coincide with your visit!

Val Thorens weather: climate change

Dalles piste, 17th November 2015

The past few years have seen rising temperatures, as the Alps warm faster than the global average. Surprising warmth in November means less snow for the start of the season; blazing springs see the snow melt at lower altitudes. Rather than letting highly unusual temperatures go unremarked, I'll note them here as they happen.

Val Thorens weather: climate change: Friday 1st March 2019

The surprisingly high temperatures continued this week. On Tuesday 26th February, it was 20C at 1000m and 16C at 2000m.

France Bleu says that the temperatures in France on Wednesday 27th February were what would normally be expected in May. The average maximum on the day in France as a whole was 20.9C, hotter than the previous record for February of 20.2C in 1960.

Val Thorens weather: climate change: Saturday 23rd February 2019

Temperature records for February were beaten in various parts of France yesterday. For example, Béziers reached 24.7C, beating the previous maximum of 23.1C in February 2012.

According to Météo France's bulletin for Savoie today, the temperatures are 10C above the seasonal averages, with a maximum of 22C at 1000m, 12C at 2000m, and 6C at 3000m.

Val Thorens weather: climate change: Saturday 21st April 2018

It has been a week of sunshine and very warm temperatures. Yesterday the Funitel Péclet was closed because of a problem with the plastic covers over the wheels on the pylons that the lift's cables run through: the plastic melted.

The Météo France bulletin for Saturday predicts temperatures of 25C or more at 1000m, 10-13C at 2000m, and 5C at 3000m. It says these are remarkable values, sometimes records for the season. It is not normal to be breaking temperature records year after year, and you have to wonder where it will end.

Val Thorens weather: climate change: Thursday 1st March 2018

We've had some very cold weather for the last two or three days - overnight minimums of -20C or even colder. Polar air was reaching us here in the French Alps. Today, with south winds, it's about 20C warmer than it was a day ago.

The cold weather is thought to be connected with a heatwave in the Arctic. Usually, it's very cold around the North Pole at this time of year, and winds known as 'the polar vortex' stop the cold air escaping. As the temperature difference between the Arctic and the rest of the northern hemisphere reduces, the polar vortex may be weakening.

Siberia has been 35C above its seasonal average, and Greenland has had 61 hours above freezing already in 2018, which scientists have described as crazy, weird, and shocking.

Val Thorens weather: climate change: week ending Friday 14th April 2017

The warm weather has continued all week, with June temperatures every day. It looks as though the temperatures will finally drop tomorrow.

Val Thorens weather: climate change: Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th April 2017

The temperatures today, Saturday 8th April 2017, were (maximum) 24C at 1000m, 15C at 2000m, and 5C at 3000m - again, about right for the middle of June. Tomorrow, Sunday 9th April, we can expect 24C, 12C, and 4C. These weekend temperatures come at the end of another very warm week. If it was the odd day, it might be dismissed as a one-off, but it's day after day. 

It's highly damaging for the lower resorts like Méribel and Saint-Martin, which already experienced a poor start to the season.

We've had extremely warm temperatures in spring for the last few years, but this is the first time I can remember June temperatures at the end of March and beginning of April. It must be getting to the point where there's no point in saying 'these temperatures are about right for June', because it seems the climate has just changed. But as the world is still pouring greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, it's likely that this is just the start of the change.

Val Thorens weather: climate change: Thursday 30th & Friday 31st March 2017

The second half of March has been very warm indeed, and it peaked on 30th & 31st March. According to Météo France in Bourg Saint-Maurice, we experienced temperatures about right for the middle of June. On Friday 31st March 2017, they forecast maximums of 24C at 1000m, 15C at 2000m, and 4C at 3000m.

Val Thorens snow report

Snow-covered car, Val Thorens

Read the latest snow reports for Val Thorens, covering snow depths, quality of the snow, number of pistes and lifts open, 3 Valley links open, and avalanche risk.

Val Thorens weather: the Foehn wind

Foehn wind, Val Thorens
Foehn wind blowing in Val Thorens

A Foehn wind is a dry, warm, down-slope wind, that occurs in the lee of a mountain range. It is also known as a 'rain shadow' wind, and as a 'snow-eater.' The Chinook is also a rain shadow wind, in north America.

Air is pushed up by the mountains on the windward side of the mountain range, and as the air pressure gets less, the air cools, and moisture in the air condenses and falls as rain or snow. As the dry air descends on the lee side of the mountains, it warms, and at a faster rate than it previously cooled, because dry air warms faster than moist air. (The dry adiabatic lapse rate is greater).

The word Foehn is German. It probably comes, distantly, from the Latin favonius, a mild west wind, and may have been transmitted through Romansh.

In Val Thorens, the Foehn is associated with S or SE winds.

Val Thorens weather: the Lombarde wind

The Lombarde is an E to NE wind which affects the areas of France bordering Italy, and blows out of the Lombardy region of Italy. It often appears in forecasts alongside the Foehn. It's likely that the Foehn affects Val Thorens more than the Lombarde.

Snow-covered car, Val ThorensSunshine in Vallon du Lou, Val ThorensView from Mont de la Chambre