The weather in Avoriaz can change quickly. This can be observed first hand or by regularly checking the local forecast.
The mountain micro climate
The unique location of Avoriaz and the Portes Du Soleil has an effect on the climate in the area. As huge geographical features mountains often have their own micro climates. Avoriaz is also affected by the Mt Blanc micro climate and is also positioned to act as a natural border between the weather systems of the north and west Alps and the Southern alps.
Higher precipitation and lower temperatures are two of the obvious signs of an Alpine climate. During winter this leads to the perfect conditions for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Avoriaz has some of the highest levels of precipitation in the whole Alps. Precipitation averages 1651mm each year.
The micro climate of the area can contribute to the unpredictable nature of the weather. The different types of wind coming in from all directions converge in the area and can also lead to high winds. These conditions can be dangerous and it is worth checking the forecast before heading out on the mountain. Some of the higher, more exposed lifts can close if the wind is too high and sometimes it is a good idea not to venture outside!
During the winter months the colder, denser air sinks to the valley floor. This has the advantage that Avoriaz will often be clear and sunny whilst the lower villages sit in fog, known in French as Mer Du Nuage, or °?sea of cloud°±. This changes in summer when the warmer air rises, cooling as it goes and forming into cumulonimbus clouds that can lead to large and impressive thunder storms in summer.
The contrasting seasons mean that there is a large swing in temperature between the winter and summer. In winter the temperature regularly goes into minus figures and has been known to get as cold as -30 degrees. In summer the warmer weather means that the average temperature is around 20 degrees and particularly warm days can get all the way up to 30 degrees - a huge change in just a few short months!