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J2Ski Snow Report - January 4th 2024

J2Ski Snow Report - January 4th 2024

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Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports

J2Ski Snow Report - January 4th 2024

Admin posted 04-Jan

It's cold in Hemsedal, Norway, so wrap up when skiing that fabulous snow...

Snow keeps coming for the Alps, and it's getting colder. Snow in the forecast for parts of US, and a lot coming for Japan.

The Snow Headlines - January 4th
- Chamonix claims first 4-metre base of anywhere in the world for 23-24 season.
- A foot of much-needed snowfall for Mammoth Mountain in California.
- Up to 1 metre (3 feet) of snowfall in first three days of 2024 in the Alps.
- Scottish ski areas open limited terrain beyond beginner areas.
- Avalanche Risk Level rises from 2 to 3 in the Western Alps with new snow.
- Scandinavian centres close lifts and pistes due to extreme cold.

Snow and COLD is forecast for the Alps, parts of Canada and US, and Japan.

Re-publication :- our Snow Report Summary, being the text above this line, 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.

World Overview
It's 2024 and things have started well in the Western Alps with French resorts posting up to 95cm of snowfall up high so far this week and Argentiere in the Chamonix Valley hitting a 4 metre base, the deepest in the world and a number not reached in Europe until late March last season.

There was some rain and sleet on low-lying slopes and the avalanche risk level has crept up a notch, but the big picture remains positive with most centres posting 80-100% of their slopes open.

It's not great everywhere though. The Pyrenees continue to suffer from dry and sometimes warm weather while up in Scandinavia it's the opposite with some lifts and runs closed for safety reasons due to temperatures as low as -30C.

Conditions continue to be challenging for lack of snowfall in North America but there have been some promising signs with a foot of snow in California - the biggest fall of the season there so far.

A good week for most Austrian resorts with cooling temperatures and some fresh snowfall.

Most of the country's resorts have been operating with all, or nearly all of their slopes open and overall things are looking much better than they were 12 months ago.

The Arlberg, with a published snow depth of 60/330cm (2-11 feet) around St Anton and Lech has both the country's deepest reported snow up at Valluga and the most terrain open – around 90% of its 300km+ of slopes.

There were media scare stories in the Daily Mail and others of a French ski season 'wash out' from rain at the start of this week.

There was a grain of truth in this – rain and sleet at low elevations, briefly getting quite high – but for the vast majority of resorts most skiers head to, with most of their terrain above 1800m, there was minimal impact and in fact, most are celebrating fresh snow (in some abundance).

Morzine showed the two extremes; reporting 72cm of snowfall on higher slopes over the first three days of the year, whilst seeing periods of rain at resort level.

There's a great variety in snow depths across Italy at the moment – ranging from around 30cm to nearer 3 metres – with the deeper snow in the north and west of the country where snowfall so far this season has been well above average. In the south and east it has been below average so far.

Despite this, most slopes are open in most parts of the country. A similar proportion (70-80%) of slopes is open in the Dolomites as at resorts like Cervinia and La Thuile in the north.

There's been some fresh snowfall this week and temperatures have been a little cooler than Christmas week, but a big fresh fall would be welcome.

Swiss centres are reporting some of the best conditions in the Alps at present.

Almost all centres are 85-95% open and many have seen 5-15cm of snowfall in the last few days, further improving conditions.

The 4 Valleys are 95% open, with the most terrain open in the country and one of the biggest areas in the world at present. Cervinia-Zermatt is in second place with 275km of runs, about 85% of its full area.

Lötschental has the deepest snowpack at just over 3 metres (10 feet).

The wintery weather is expected to continue through the weekend.

Some very cold temperatures in Scandinavia this week, particularly up in Lapland where leading resorts like Levi and Ruka have been warning of colder temperatures in resort than at altitude, due to an inversion.

On the upside, both have the sun back above the horizon for a few minutes each day this week.

There's been fresh snowfall and most Scandi areas are running at around 90% open. Sweden's Are has the most open terrain, about 80km, a little ahead of Norway's Trysil with 70km.

Not much change to report from the Pyrenees with the same scenario as a week ago, unfortunately – very little snow cover and minimal fresh snowfall.

Spain's Baqueira Beret continues to post the most open terrain at about 110km, while the largest area, Grandvalira, only has about 40% of its slopes open.

Snow is expected this weekend, with temperatures as low as -15C, so there should be some improvement by this time next week.

Scottish ski areas continue to face challenging snow conditions although cold weather and natural snowfall have allowed Glenshee to open some extra lifts and Cairngorm say they'll have their famous M1 and White Lady runs open this weekend (it will be a hike up to them with the funicular out of action) and the experience has been designated 'experts only' for now.

Eastern Europe
It has been another mostly sunny week in Bulgaria with daytime valley temperatures up at +10C, although getting back to freezing up high overnight.

Continuing 'springlike' conditions are impacting snow cover and quality a bit.

Further north in the Czech and Slovak Republics and in Poland, it's more wintery. As a result of these differences, Bansko has about half of its runs open, while Jasna in Slovakia has nearly all of theirs in operation.

North America
Canada's ski areas are continuing to battle to open terrain with ongoing dry and sometimes warm weather.

The continent's biggest resort Whistler Blackcomb has been celebrating hitting the 1m base depth mark this week on its upper slopes and all of its lifts are now running at altitude.

There's also fresh snow on high slopes on Mont Tremblant in the East, which is around half open, more than double the 20% most centres in the East are posting.

No big improvement in the forecast.

Conditions continue to be challenging across most US ski areas.

The best conditions are still in the Rockies at some resorts in Colorado and Utah.

Some like Steamboat, Vail and Winter Park have 70-80% of slopes open, whilst the likes of Park City and Beaver Creek have more limited terrain available.

The East and West Coasts also have reduced terrain open. It has been a better week in the East with snowfall rather than rain at last and in the West snow-starved Mammoth, reported a foot of snow on Wednesday, its biggest fall of the winter so far.
The Admin Man

Edited 1 time. Last update at 04-Jan-2024