Where to hit the slopes this winter? Early weather reports are promising for France.
Earlier this year, France was dethroned as the world’s top skiing destination because of changeable weather and lower snowfall. As a result, resorts across the United States took first place for best skiing weather—but France seems poised to reclaim the title.
Many forecasters are already predicting a great ski season for Europe, though experts are urging caution on these early reports. A meteorologist in Germany said this winter could be the coldest European winter in a century. And while many meteorologists scoffed at the report and countered that this winter will likely be mild (some predicted it will be about 2°F warmer than the average winter) there's no reason to despair for French ski season. After all, even if this winter proves to be balmier than average, the 2016—2017 season is still expected to be as an improvement for snowbirds.
Skiers were disappointed in 2015 when a lack of snowfall put a dent in their time on the slopes. And already, resorts in the Alps are reporting a light dusting, suggesting things won't be nearly as bad. A meteorologist at France’s Direct Matin newspaper said to expect about 30 percent of this winter to have harsher conditions, including heavier snowfall and rain. For those looking to reserve a traditional winter ski chalet in the the French Alps, January could be a great month.
France’s official weather reports won’t be released until the end of November, so those who are extra cautious may want to wait a few more weeks before deciding when—and where—they’ll hit the slopes.