J2Ski Snow Report - March 20th 2014

J2Ski Snow Report - March 20th 2014

Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports - 6 Replies

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Admin posted Mar-2014

Week Ending March 21st, 2014

Re-publication :- our Snow Report Summary, being the text up to "The Alps", is free to re-publish, but must be clearly credited to www.J2ski.com with text including "J2Ski Snow Report" linked to this page - thank you.


Snow Report Summary - Incoming!
Spring could be about to take a break...

Anyone out in The Alps this week could have been forgiven for thinking that summer has arrived, let alone Spring... but a bit of a change is on the cards. Much of the area, particularly North and West, will see temperatures fall anything up to 15 degrees C by Monday - accompanied by heavy snow.

Definitely worth watching the forecasts if you fancy a late-season blast in what looks like a good few days of freshies... this winter's not quite done with us yet.

This Week's Headlines:
* A second week with almost no snow in western Europe.
* Heavy snow in western Canada and parts of USA.
* Up to 30cm of fresh snow in Scandinavia.
* Nearly a metre of snow at Fernie.
* Cortina extends ski season in to May.
* Heavy snow expected for the Western Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites in the next few days.

It has been a second week of virtually no snow and unseasonably warm temperatures in western Europe which has had its effect on snow quality and snow depth - but in most cases has not had too serious impact on the number of runs open as there was a healthy base built up through the winter. Afternoon conditions have been decidedly sticky though!

Some of the lower elevation resorts in Austria, which have had a challenging season, will just about scrape through to the end of their seasons at Easter.

The good news is that as spring nears there is expected to be a drop in temperature and some healthy snowfalls - you know it makes sense...

It has been a different story across the Atlantic with some heavy snowfalls - up to 90cm (threefeet) in 48 hours - in Western North America following big falls in the East of the continent last week (big snows again in Vermont this week).

Alps
Austria
There's been very little new snow in Austria for a second week and with warm temperatures too the thin snowpack at some lower elevation areas is being severely tested. Few (low resorts) are expected to stay open beyond March 30th so only have another 10 days to get through and there's not much of a respite in the thaw expected in that time.

Of course not all Austrian ski areas have short seasons and not all are low lying; let's not forget about half of Europe's summer ski destinations are in Austria and at resorts like Hintertux and Pitztal the snow is lying more than 10 feet (3m deep on upper slopes.

But for Seefeld, Mayrhofen, the Skiwelt, Zell and Ziller and others there's a maximum of 50cm left on upper slopes and often nothing at resort level.

France
There's been zero fresh snow reported in France for a second full week but that's all about to change, the forecasters tell us, with the most optimistic expecting up to a metre to fall in the northern alps in the next seven days. As it is, despite the warm weather, snow cover is holding up at most French resorts thanks to big bases built up in the winter.

The southern Alps and Pyrenees top the table with areas like Cauterets and Isola 2000 still having more than 3m/10 feet of snow lying on top, but most resorts still have at least 1.5m (five feet) up to 2.9m (nearly 10 feet of snow on upper runs. It's getting a bit thinner at lower traditional resorts like la Clusaz and les Gets at resort level but there's still a good foot or so on the lower pistes if not on the resort streets.

Italy
Italy, like France, has had no fresh snow in the past seven days, the same as the previous seven days. Snow depths have dropped slightly but Italy has been the snowiest major ski nation in Europe from December to February and the big bases that have built up will take a while to seriously diminish. Passo Tonale's base has dropped to 5.5m but remains the world's deepest, Madesimo is still on 5m.

Snow depths are 1.5 – 3m at most other leading Italian resorts with Cortina d'Ampezzo announcing it is extending its season to May with its 3.1m base. Like France, substantial snowfall is expected in the next week.

Switzerland
Other than less than an inch of snow reported on Sunday at Arosa and Davos in the east of the country, it's the same story of a second week with little or no snow in Switzerland. Slope depths are a little less than in France and Italy, particularly on lower runs, with, for example, only 10-15cm at Grindelwald and Wengen, 15cm at Laax and Gstaad and only 5cm at Crans Montana. Higher up depths are healthier with typically 1.2-2.5m at Swiss resorts, although Andermatt remains one of the snowiest in the world with a reported 4m base. As with France and Italy, heavy snow is expected in Switzerland too.

Pyrenees
There's been no snow since March 5th in the Pyrenees, when a foot of snow fell in Andorra. But the snow cover remains excellent with up to five feet (1.5m) at resort level and double that at the top of the slopes. Arcalis in Vallnord has the deepest snow at 1.9 to 2.9m and all areas expect a foot or so o fresh snow in the coming week.

Scandinavia
Scandinavian ski areas have been posting the biggest snowfalls in Europe over the last seven days – up to a foot (30cm) at resorts including Voss in Norway and are and Funasdalen in Sweden. All aim to open until early May so that's good news for another six weeks of the spring ski season.

Eastern Europe
After last week's snowfall in Bulgaria there's been no further fresh falls reported in Eastern Europe. Bulgarian ski areas are in quite good shape, on upper slopes at least with at least a metre reporting to be lying, although at resort level it is pretty much all gone at Bansko.

Scotland
After a great season for snow, a less great season for gales and storms (too many), Scottish ski slopes have at last been suffering from the thaw and warm temperatures of the past 10 days or so. That's not to say the very deep snow isn't still pretty deep in places at Cairngorm, Glencoe and Nevis Range as there's so much lying, but it has been getting sticky and brown patches appearing. The situation is worse on the East where The Lecht has almost no snow and Glenshee is battling with mother nature to keep slopes open. However things are set to pick up towards the end of this week with colder weather moving in at last after the latest storm.

North America
Canada
Canada has been the snowiest nation on earth over the last seven days with Fernie clocking up three feet, three inches (97cm) of fresh snow but many other resorts in Alberta and BC each adding 50-70cm to their bases too. Whistler reports 55cm of new snow. Fernie continues to have the deepest snow in the country at 3.3m (11 feet). Less snow was reported on the Eastern side of the country but it's still falling there too – 20cm for Mont Ste Anne and 10cm at Temblant.

USA
There have been substantial snowfalls across the United states with the Northwest seeing the biggest snowfalls – up to a metre in the last week (reported by Big Sky, Montana). Jackson Hole added 55cm of snow and has a 350cm base, still one of the country's deepest. Resorts in Utah report similar accumulations, in Colorado more like a foot. On the east Coast in Vermont Stowe and Smugglers Notch have both reported 60cm plus of fresh snowfall.

The Admin Man

Tony_H
reply to 'J2Ski Snow Report - March 20th 2014'
posted Mar-2014

I just came back from a week of blazing sun and high temperatures in Alpe d'Huez. We saw not drop of snow, hardly a whiff of a cloud, which would be fine had it not been so damned hot. I guess some people call it spring skiing, boiler plate first hour and slush after lunch.
I can also testify that it started snowing at 9am Saturday morning and dumped big time over night, as the resort have kindly emailed me this morning with photos of the half metre of fresh powder that they now have.

Great week for those just gone, and a massive irritation for those just come back, myself included.
www  New and improved me

Snapzzz
reply to 'J2Ski Snow Report - March 20th 2014'
posted Mar-2014

Tony_H wrote:

Great week for those just gone, and a massive irritation for those just come back, myself included.


I wouldn't be annoyed, we had just the same weather in Sauze and it was great.
We had powder, tons, in Avoriaz in January and this time we had spring (summer) conditions - it just made for a different type of trip but still very enjoyable
Skied: Arinsal, La Plagne, Alpe D'huez, Flaine, Les Arcs, Morzine, Les Gets, Avoriaz, Sauze, Courchevel, Val Thorens

LOTA
reply to 'J2Ski Snow Report - March 20th 2014'
posted Mar-2014

Tony_H wrote:I just came back from a week of blazing sun and high temperatures in Alpe d'Huez. We saw not drop of snow, hardly a whiff of a cloud, which would be fine had it not been so damned hot. I guess some people call it spring skiing, boiler plate first hour and slush after lunch.
I can also testify that it started snowing at 9am Saturday morning and dumped big time over night, as the resort have kindly emailed me this morning with photos of the half metre of fresh powder that they now have.

Great week for those just gone, and a massive irritation for those just come back, myself included.


You haven't had the best of luck this season, Tone.
Little more irritating than the weather changing as soon as you get home.
Personally, enjoying the webcams with heavy snow falling and very cold in Saas Fee!

Tony_H
reply to 'J2Ski Snow Report - March 20th 2014'
posted Mar-2014

No I have not!!!!!
2 weeks only and both of them warm and with snow disappearing fast. Still I have to consider myself lucky to have skied 2 trips I guess.

Snapzz, personally you can stick your warm sunny spring skiing and give me cold snowy days any day of the week. I prefer to feel cold and wrap up properly rather than find I am sweating before I have even got out of the boot room.

Spring skiing last March involved a meter and a half of fresh, followed by 4 days of sun, that was fabulous.
This year it was hotter in January than it was last March when I went.

Thats irritating as hell!!!!

OH well, time to plan for 2014/15.......
www  New and improved me

Bedrock barney
reply to 'J2Ski Snow Report - March 20th 2014'
posted Mar-2014

Like Tony, I too was skiing last week in sunny conditions. It was very warm but we spent 75% of our time between about 2,600 and 3,800m (in Zermatt) and only had to deal with the slush when we skied back to town at the end of the day. The conditions from 2,800m upwards were superb. It was only a few degrees below zero and the snow quality excellent. On this occasion, a high altitude resort saved our bacon.

I don't think I'd swap the week we've just had with the one now coming.
slippy slidey snow......me likey!

Snapzzz
reply to 'J2Ski Snow Report - March 20th 2014'
posted Mar-2014

Tony_H wrote:
Snapzzz, personally you can stick your warm sunny spring skiing and give me cold snowy days any day of the week. I prefer to feel cold and wrap up properly rather than find I am sweating before I have even got out of the boot room.


oh well, at least it was skiing of sorts.
Skied: Arinsal, La Plagne, Alpe D'huez, Flaine, Les Arcs, Morzine, Les Gets, Avoriaz, Sauze, Courchevel, Val Thorens

Topic last updated on 23-March-2014 at 16:01

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