Geneva / Lausanne, Switzerland –

In the past few days, snow began to fall in the Swiss Alps and Jura mountains, leaving the first base layers needed for good skiing. Skiers from the Jura were already out on 20-21 November at La Faucille. Lausanne’s cross-country skiers have begun training, and Saas-Fee’s early-season skiers have enjoyed their early season.

Geneva has skiing first!

During the FIS Coupe d’Europe de Ski Alpin Dames, the Monts Jura will host a women’s event. Geneva will host this significant event for the first time. As a result of the success of the French championship competition at Monts Jura in 2009 and 2010, the European cup organizers decided to hold one stage of their competition there.

For Friday, the Swiss Ski Federation is organizing a Super-Géant race. The French Ski Federation is organizing a Super-Combiné race for Saturday in Crozet-Lélex, less than 30 minutes from Geneva.

Winter tires and chains reminder

Even though winter tires are not required in Switzerland, you could be charged if your summer or winter tires are considered a factor in an accident. Your insurance company and the judge might see fit to make that determination.

Although some mountainous districts require them, France is also not one of them. It’s the same in Austria and Italy, but winter tires are a requirement in Germany.

Those without winter tires or those who want them replaced should call now to make an appointment, as garages will be very busy by November.

Weather forecasts, avalanche information, energy independence at Monte Rosa

SwissMetNet’s first phase has been completed, and the second is well underway, making winter weather information more reliable this winter.

Several partners are working together on the 2005-2013 project led by MeteoSwiss to replace old weather systems tools. According to the group’s November newsletter, the first phase included installing devices and burying cables to enable 1,100 sensors to send data every 10 minutes to the central database.

With the new measurement network, MeteoSwiss can provide meteorological data to our clients of all levels with the required accuracy and availability.

MeteoSwiss has completed a new weather station in Monte Rosa which has been designed for energy independence. Frost and snow accumulate on the instruments at mountain altitudes, which can cause them not to function correctly.

This is why the equipment must be ventilated and heated, a process that requires large amounts of energy. This energy must be stored in the reactor and readily available at all times.

As a result, the latest generation of solar cells with 240 watts and a yield of around 15 percent were installed vertically to prevent snow accumulation. The winter of 2008/09 was a testing phase for the station’s energy supply. During December and January, the station could remain operational due to the sensors’ resistance to frost even when sun exposure fell below 90 minutes a day.

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