An independent guide to Val Thorens

View of Mt Blanc from Val Thorens

Val Thorens weather

Sea of cloud over Val Thorens

Here you can find out about the Val Thorens weather. There's information about the weather systems affecting Val Thorens, including the NW winds that can bring snow, and the warm, dry Foehn wind. We also have a link to a weather forecast for Val Thorens which is updated daily. Read about the weather in Val Thorens here.

Latest Val Thorens weather forecasts

This is the Val Thorens weather forecast, updated most evenings during the winter season. See also our Val Thorens snow report

Val Thorens weather: Friday 28th April 2017

The sky will clear on Friday night. Minimum temperatures:

  • -3C at 1000m
  • -7C at 2000m
  • -14C at 3000m

Val Thorens weather: Saturday 29th April 2017

Sunny and clear. Maximum temperatures:

  • 16C at 1000m
  • 6C at 2000m
  • -3C at 3000m

The wind will be S, 5-20kmh at 2500m.

Val Thorens weather: Sunday 30th April 2017

Sunshine and a veil of cloud, thickening as the day goes on. A S wind picks up, with gusts of up to 60kmh. 18C at 1000m. Snow overnight.

Val Thorens weather systems

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.

Val Thorens weather: the Foehn wind

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.

Val Thorens weather: video

This 'weather in Val Thorens' video shows and explains some of the weather conditions you may come across when you're in Val Thorens:

We hope the best Val Thorens weather coincides with your visit!

What's new in Val Thorens for 2016-17

Start hut, Stade de Slalom, Val Thorens

The Stade and Roc draglifts are replaced by a new Stade chairlift, and Boismint chair becomes a fast, modern 6-seater. There's a big investment in snow-making capacity too. Off the piste, the Mercure hotel becomes the 4-star Fahrenheit 7 (so named because it's the perfect temperature for the formation of a snowflake). Read about what's new in Val Thorens for 2016-17.

Guide to the Val Thorens ski area

Top of Cime de Caron, Val Thorens

We have a detailed guide to the Val Thorens ski area, including the beginners' area, an overview of the ski area, the snowpark, skiercross, and slalom stadium, and some of the off piste itineraries. It's based on personal knowledge and experience over many seasons, and it has useful advice and tips.

Lac du Lou, Val ThorensView from Col, Val ThorensWispy clouds over the Barre des Ecrins

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