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Long-range weather forecast for Winter 2011/12 predicts early ski season for French Alps

Added: (Fri Oct 21 2011)

Pressbox (Press Release) - Chamonix ski chalet Maison Jaune has just released its annual long-range weather forecast for Winter 2011/12 for Europe, the French Alps and Chamonix.

The latest information appears to predict a moderate to strong “La Nina”, which is where the Pacific is colder than normal, together with a negative “North Atlantic Oscillation” (NAO-). This would increase the likelihood of a colder and slightly drier than normal start to the season (which is great for freezing the ground so the first snowfall sticks), followed by a relatively normal winter with average temperatures and precipitation, but with an early Spring.

From initial forecasts, we believe that the Winter 2011/12 season will be quite similar to last year’s winter, which resulted in one of the coldest UK winters with abundant snow. This was in part due to a strong La Nina effect combined with Greenland blocking which allowed the cold Arctic air to descend upon the UK and Europe.

In addition, the long term 60 year cycles of El Nino and North Atlantic Oscillation are both about to enter the negative phases of their cycles, and as the last two sun spot activity cycles mirror the start of the Dalton minimum (1790-1830 - a period of reduced sun spot activity with unusually cold weather globally). This could mean we are about to enter a period of lower than average temperatures for the next few years which is great news for the ski industry, although we would not go so far as to called it a mini-ice age like some weather forecasters have recently.

The latest computer prediction from the Climate Prediction Centre would suggest a slightly drier than average start to the season, but with above average precipitation for the main ski season during the mid-winter period of January, February and March. This bolds well for skiing in the French Alps.

View the complete forecast and explanations here: http://www.maison-jaune.com/blog/545/long-range-weather-forecast-for-europe-french-alps-and-chamonix-2011-12

Submitted by:Leighton Ellis
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