Where to get the weather forecast
There are many different sources of weather information available in Chamonix, many of which are also provided in English. If you have access to a television in your chalet/apartment, then the main French TV channels (TF1, TF2, M6) all have weather bulletins at regular intervals. Even if you don’t understand all that is said, TV forecasts and satellite images still give you a great visual for the general gist of the day’s weather.
Other useful sources include:
Again, these tend to be more on the general side but you can get them localised to your specific region or to the mountains by following the automated menu options. Resorts in the Northern Alps (Avoriaz, Morzine & Avoriaz) are in department 74, the 3 Valleys and the Tarentaise resorts are in department 73, and the Southern Alp resorts (Alpe d’Huez and 2 Alpes) are in department 38. Verbier is in the Valais region of Switzerland.
Swiss National Weather – Tel: 162
Snow Bulletin (in French) – Tel: +33 (0)892 68 10 20
Local publications vary from resort to resort but they all generally have a weather section with the forecast for the next few days. Le Dauphiné Libere is a national daily newspaper published per region with local weather information on the second back page.
There are usually a number of places in resort that post the weather forecast daily on their noticeboards. The most obvious ones to try are the Tourist Office, the CAF (Club Alpin Francais) bureau, the Mountain Guides office, etc.
If you have access to the internet during your stay then there are infinite numbers of websites that will give you an up to date forecast for your area. Here are some that we’ve found to be particularly useful:
Meteo France - Mountain weather and avalanche conditions bulletins (in French)
Meteo Swiss - Mountain weather and avalanche conditions in Switzerland (in French)
Snow-Forecast.com - Free snow forecasts for Chamonix
Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research - Swiss avalanche bulletins
Henry’s Avalanche Talks - popular avalanche training sessions based in French Alps as well as translation of current avalanche conditions
PisteHors.com - Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding News in English for the French Alps. Excellent coverage of avalanche safety and advice.
French Avalanche Research Institute - Practical advice and information on avalanche awareness (in French)
Not so much a weather forecasting tool, but certainly worth checking out Chamonix webcams if you’re heading out for the day so you can see at a glance whether you’re going to need that extra layer or not!