Winter season 2020-2021 is way different in terms of active sports and traveling given the global lockdown and quarantine regulations. Still, you might be lucky to have the opportunity to do some snow sports and outdoor activities even in these uncertain conditions.
If some sports are on your winter “to-do” list, you need to learn about weather conditions in order to be able to choose the right spot and day for your activity.
Now, we will clarify such essential thing as a snow forecast, good and bad weather conditions for skiing and snowboarding as well as where to get a snow forecast for the this winter.
Briefly: the forecast we’re used to is a result of the complex work of lots of formulas and algorithms. We can never make 100% precise predictions about the weather (the Earth’s atmosphere is a very complex system), but we can calculate certain parameters for a particular point on the map, like humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, etc. These are the initial conditions for a complex equation system, solved by supercomputers.
Solving complex equations for many locations constitutes a weather forecast model. First, it’s necessary to know the weather at a certain point of the global picture — that’s what global models do. Regional models work on a certain territory. For example, the WRF8 covers only Europe, the global GFS27 — the whole world.
Models need to be “fed” constantly. The main data sources are weather stations, satellites, radars.
Weather forecasts for 3 and 10 days are the most common. You can also see forecasts for 5, 7 and 14 days.
Photo: jack-atkinson / unsplash
Globally, snowfall is more common for two types of areas: the north and the mountains. And that’s understandable. The farther north you go, the closer to the North Pole. The higher in the mountains, the closer to space. Both places are the coldest.
There are lots of factors in the mountains impeding accurate forecasts:
In fact, there is no difference, both tell us about the amount of snow, but...
If you want to know how much snow there was on the particular slope within, let’s say, the last three days, you’ll look at the snow report. If you are looking for this data for the several following days, then you’ll need the snow forecast.
The report shows something that has already happened, the forecast — something that is about to happen.
Photo: tim-arnold / unsplash
The snow forecast consists of several important parameters:
It is better to keep in mind all of it in order to choose the best slope and time for snowboarding or skiing.
The success of your skiing and snowboarding experience depends on the snow, but also on other weather conditions. Let’s learn more about it.
In the mountains, the weather can change quickly and easily, and not any snow is good for skiing and snowboarding.
Sunny weather is the best for skiing and snowboarding as you can see the slope very clearly, notice the bumps and changes in gradient as well as enjoy the beauty of the landscape.
But, we will repeat, that the weather in the mountains is quite capricious. That’s why you should keep the following in mind:
Don’t forget to use some sun protection, otherwise, you can easily get a sunburn.
Finally, and the most important: because of the changeable weather in the mountains, you can have both the sun and blizzard within a couple of hours. That’s why it’s better to always have some extra equipment and a weather forecast app with you.
Photo: felipe-giacometti / unsplash
Well, as we have already mentioned, snow is hard to predict. That’s why snow forecasts are made for shorter periods and are challenged more often than others because the interaction of conditions meteorologists use for forecasts is very unpredictable. Jet streams, the evolution of snowstorms, and even a small change in the level of moisture are the factors that can easily change the data of the snow forecast.
You can trust the snow forecast for 3 days for sure. In some cases, it can be 5 days, and a 7-day period is the most. The more days, the less accurate it is, so the most accurate will be the snow forecast for the next day.
Given that, the best you can do is check the changes in the snow forecast as often as you can and talk more with locals who are familiar with the specific location.
Normally, when you check the weather or snow forecast, you’ll also find the data about the weather and snow on this day a year ago, several years ago, or sometimes — the historical minimum and maximum. This information can help you predict the snow on the day you need it. Again, there is no guarantee that if there was snow in this area on this day every year during the last 10 years, it will be the same this time, but it increases the chances a little bit.
On some resources you can also find information about the snowiest week of the year at the particular ski resort, the number of snowy days in a week, the average snow on this day based on weather data for the last years, and other historical data.
There is a whole Snow Weather Profile in Windy.app, where you can get a preset of 10+ weather parameters, indexes, data, and charts created especially for winter sports like snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing and other:
In the profile you can get:
To set up Snow Profile:
1. Go to your favorite or the nearest spot in the app.
2. Open Snow Weather Profile by an icon right to weather forecast modes.
3. Get weather forecast for the next 10 days.
Text: Irina Artemova, an author from Saint Petersburg, Russia, and Bali, Indonesia. Her favorite sports are surfing and yoga.
Cover photo: jan-kopriva / unsplash.
Read full guide to Windy.app for iOS and Android, sports mini guides to kite- and windsurfing, and fishing, as well as guides to Windy.app weather forecast models and weather stations, and customization options. There is also a Windy.app Compass to all 100+ features of the app.