Engelberg this morning... where snow is up to 7 metres deep!
More snow fell this week, in Europe and America.
This Week's Snow Headlines
- World's deepest snowbase at Engelberg passes 7m mark after huge snowfall.
- Great conditions for Easter in Scotland after more fresh snow.
- Snow accumulations in the Alps through last week tops 1m at some resorts.
- Avalanche danger high in many areas.
- More significant snowfall in Western North America.
- Deepest French snow depth passes 5m mark.
It may be the last week or two of the season for most ski resorts in the northern hemisphere but remarkably there's still little sign of 'winter' letting up in many areas and snow bases are continuing to grow even in to April when the thaw would usually result in bases starting to drop by now.
In the Alpine Forecast
A relatively clear few days in store as we move into the weekend, with much more Spring-like and warm weather expected for the next week or so... before temperatures dip back toward their seasonal averages and...
It rather looks like snow will return for those resorts still open into mid-April.
See where it's expected to snow this week...
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Austrian base depths have broken through the 6m (20 foot) mark following a 50cm snowfall in the past few days on the Dachstein glacier. It is now reporting 6.2m of snow lying on the slopes, an incredible turnaround for a ski area which last summer announced it would end autumn snow camps on its glacier due to inadequate snow cover and potential damage to the underlying glacier.
The snow has been falling across Austria, albeit heaviest on higher slopes, with the Molltal glacier reporting over a metre of fresh snow in the past seven days. The majority of Austrian resorts will close for the season this coming weekend or the one after but a dozen or so continue on in to May and Austria's glaciers form the majority of ski areas open from June to November in Europe so it will be interesting to see how they perform this summer, after huge bases have built up through the winter.
The past week turned out to be snowy as forecast in France with up to a metre of snowfall reported over 7 days (at Lans en Vercors) but most French resorts getting at east 50cm of fresh snow. La Toussuire reported 90cm and there was 70cm for Tignes and the Portes du Soleil, 60cm at La 2 Alpes, Val d'Isere and several others.
As predicted a week ago Avoriaz has broken through the 5m snow depth mark – a number not seen in the French Alps for many years. It is expected to warm up a little over the coming week with less fresh snow in the forecast and of course the end of the season for most French resorts over the next three weekends. Some, like Tignes and Val Thorens, will keep operating towards mid-May.
This time Italy has not seen the big falls of the past week that the other 'big four' European ski nations have done. Instead there were smaller accumulations of fresh snow across much of the country. Snow depths remain healthy across the country however with Cervinia, which still has a moth of its season left, reporting one of the best at 2-4m. Most other Italian areas are closing this Sunday or a week on Sunday so they have enough snow to see them through, and there's more moderate Italian spring snowfall in the forecast too.
It may have been snowing across Europe this past week but it has been snowing the most in Switzerland where 7 day snowfall totals to Monday were more than a metre at at least a dozen Swiss resorts with Engelberg topping the table as previously mentioned. Laax, Andermatt and Meiringen are amongst the Swiss ski areas reporting the snow lying at least 5 metres deep on upper runs. So far the week ahead looks much less snowy and temperatures are warming up a little although some snow is expected towards the latter end of the week.
We're in to the final fortnight of the 17-18 ski season for most ski areas in Eastern Europe and it feels like it at many areas with temperatures now well in positive figures in the afternoon and a thaw set in. However most ski areas have good bases built up through the winter so should be fine to survive through to closing day. Bansko in Bulgaria still reports the snow lying 2m deep from top to bottom for example.
Scotland's excellent 2017-18 ski season continues with lots more fresh snow providing the perfect Easter holiday conditions for lucky skiers and boarders in the area. Locals report snowfalls and resulting snow depths have in fact been much bigger than official figures suggest all winter.
Most ski areas in the Pyrenees will be closing either this coming weekend or the week after. The final week(s) of the season are looking OK though thanks to 2m deep bases on most slopes in Andorra, for example, which received some fresh snow in the last week. There may be more fresh snow on the Spanish side as well this week but the temperatures are finally inexorably rising and the snow on lower slopes starting to thaw.
Scandinavian skiing tends to come into its own in April and in to May with long spring days but (Hopefully) still low enough temperatures for the snow conditions to stay good. There had been little fresh snow reported in the past week until the past 24 hours when the usual culprits for big snowfalls in the region – Roldal and Voss on the west coast of Norway – issued powder alarms for 25cm+ snowfalls. So 2018 is "so far so good" and bases are still up to 3m (10 feet) deep on Norwegian slopes.
Conditions are looking good in Western Canada where up to 50cm of fresh snow has been reported in the past few days at ski areas in Alberta and BC, including 30cm (a foot) at Lake Louise which is one of the resorts that still has a month of the season left to run. Base depths are generally at 2-3m with some now approaching 5m, so as most will close this weekend or next, that should see them through Plus it's still snowing. On the East Coast things are more spring-like and with less fresh snow but it's all still skiable.
In America as with Canada the focus for fresh snowfall has been the Western side of the country over the past week. Mammoth is currently in third place in the US for snow depth – at 4.3m (over 14 feet) following still more heavy snowfalls just before the weekend. It is one of several Californian ski areas now expected to stay open at least to May and possibly on in to June or July. Mt Baker, in Washington State to the north, is increasingly pulling away with the deepest base in North America. It's up to 6.5m, after another 30cm reported on Tuesday.
A swathe of US ski areas will close for the season on Sunday, including Jackson Hole which reported another 50cm (20 inches) of snowfall at the weekend and now has a 333cm base.