Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports 06-Apr-2017
Spring Snow at altitude for The Alps, and Pyrenees.
It's Spring in Les Arcs, France
Top 100 Snowiest Ski Areas Worldwide
This Week's Snow Headlines
- Up to 50cm of fresh snow in the French Pyrenees.
- Up to 45cm of fresh snow in the Western Alps.
- SkiWelt ends its 2016-17 ski season.
- Zermatt issues powder alarms for 2 successive days of 20cm snowfall.
- Over four feet of snow in Alaska.
The 16-17 season is starting to wind down now with the first of Europe's big ski areas, Austria's SkiWelt, ending its season last weekend. A good many more will end theirs next weekend, including many in North America, although most on each side of the Atlantic will keep the lifts turning and the slopes groomed until after Easter weekend.
But April is starting snowier than December did for many resorts, with centres in Europe and North America reporting up to 50cm (and a few much more) of fresh snow in the past week. For North America this seems to mean more winter and powder like conditions and in the Alps it's helping to freshen up the pistes, if not exactly convert the slopes in to a powder paradise. There's been snow reported in the Pyrenees and Western Alps over the weekend and more recently in Austria.
In the Forecast
A very mixed outlook for The Alps at present, with warm weather continuing in the west and cooler weather bringing a little more snow to the east.
Alpine regions (east and west) should revert toward seasonal averages next week, with unsettled weather from mid-week bringing more top-ups of snow to the higher slopes.
There is still good Spring skiing to be had at altitude but, as always at this time of year, do check conditions and resort opening times before travelling!
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Not much snow in Austria over the past week but the good news is that the one resort that reported a big snowfall, last Sunday, was Ischgl claiming 25cm, and it's one of the few Austrian areas due to stay open to the start of May. Otherwise more will begin closing this weekend and most after Easter. So far the biggest area to close is one of Austria's three largest, the Skiwelt which becomes Europe's first big ski region to close for the 16-17 season.
Of the still-open Austrian areas things are looking best on the glaciers where most centres have at least 2m of snow, although St Anton (no glacier) still has a 2.5m base up top and 50cm in resort. It's the exception as most non-glacier Austrian areas have less than a metre now on their upper slopes and nothing, or just 10-30cm, on lower runs, although that's normal for the time of year of course.
It has been a fairly snowy week in France with the higher resorts in the Alps and ski areas down in the French Pyrenees reporting 20-30cm of new snow. Cauterets in the Pyrenees even reported 50cm of fresh snow, the most in Europe this week. Tignes and Val d'Isere reported the biggest falls in the French Alps on Sunday and Monday with around 20cm of fresh snow, but there was 5-20cm of snow at many other resorts, particularly above 1800m, with Chamonix's higher slopes and Val Thorens among the beneficiaries. Montgenevre, which has a 140-250cm base and 15cm of fresh snow is one of the best for snow cover in France. More moderate snowfalls are expected in the week ahead and bases look good enough across the country in any case for the remainder of the season.
Western Italian ski areas reported 15-35cm of fresh snow on Sunday, boosting the bases ahead of the final weeks of the winter season. Cervinia claimed the biggest snowfall. It has a 30-200cm base, one of the best in the country, although Macugnaga, which got 25cm of fresh snow, has a slightly better 40-240cm. the latter stat the deepest base in Italy at present. No real respite in the Dolomites though, with no fresh snow reported and bases still very thin around the 10-40cm mark at best and it is naturally enough 'spring ski conditions' across the country in any case.
Switzerland reported a similar week to France with just a few resorts doing very well for fresh snow (Grindelwald 30cm, Zermatt 40cm, Saas Fee 50cm), but other resorts having a less snowy week with a handful more reporting just a few inches. Very few Swiss resorts now have any snow left at village level (Arosa, Saas Fee, Verbier and Grimentz report 20-30cm) but on the mountain most areas still report 1-2m, plenty, probably, to see them through the final few week of the season. Andermatt with 350cm and Gstaad with 480cm are the deepest reported bases in Europe for the main ski resorts at present.
All five Scottish ski centres are closed due to a lack of snow.
The Pyrenees have had one of the best seasons of all the mountain regions in Europe and it is rounding off 2016-17 on a high with more snow, particularly on the French side where up to 50cm of new snow has fallen since the weekend. In Andorra bases are up around the 1.5 – 2.5m mark on upper run which means things look very good for the Easter holidays and the final weeks of the season.
Little change in Scandinavian ski conditions this week with still a month of the season left at many resorts. Just a few centimetres of fresh snow (Norway's Trysil reported the biggest fall – some 13cm) and bases typically in the 70-90cm, mark on the mountain, pretty normal stuff for Finland, Norway and Sweden.
Cover is getting thinner in Eastern Europe and some ski areas have begun to close for winter 16-17. At Spindleruv Mlyn and Jasna in the Czech and Slovak Republics there's only 20—30cm on the slopes. Apart from Pamporovo (50cm up top) most of the Bulgarian centres still have over 1m on upper runs but down in resort the base is thinning fast at Bansko, down to 20cm.
It has been another snowy week in Western Canada with up to two feet of snow (58cm at Big White) reported falling and most area getting 15-40cm. Whistler with a 338cm (over 11 foot) base and 35cm of fresh snow this week has the deepest reported base still but most Canadian resorts still have at last 2m of snow lying on upper slopes and several others (Fernie, Revelstoke, Big White) around 3m. There's not been much fresh snow reported in the East but bases remain around the 1m mark in Quebec which should be enough for the remainder of the season. Similar snowfalls expected in the coming week.
There's been a late dump of snow in Alaska this week with Alyeska resort reporting the biggest snowfall in the world over the last seven days with more than four feet 126cm) of snow dumping down. Elsewhere on the West side of the USA there have been 30-45cm accumulations in many resorts from Taos in New Mexico and Breckenridge in Colorado over to Alta in Utah and Jackson Hole in Wyoming. So the final weeks of the season are continuing to see the snow falling as it has been since late November here. Conditions are described as 'fresh' powder' and 'excellent' in contrast to Europe's 'spring snow' There's been snow on the East Coast this week too with Killington in Vermont reporting the biggest snowfall here with 30cm. Both East and Western side of the US are expecting more big snowfalls over the next few days.