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J2Ski Snow Report - February 8th 2024

J2Ski Snow Report - February 8th 2024

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Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports

J2Ski Snow Report - February 8th 2024

Admin posted 08-Feb

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 2 feet in 2 days, photo by Stephen Shelesky

Snow piles in to the western USA, storms bring snow to Scandinavia and temperatures are dropping (with snow falling) in the Alps.

The Snow Headlines - February 8th
- Heavy snowfalls hit US West, California buried up to 7 feet deep in powder.
- Storm Ingunn leaves snow up to 60cm deep in Norway, Sweden and Finland.
- Cooler weather for Western Canada after warm spell causes snow issues.
- Temperatures finally dropping in the Alps and Pyrenees after another warm week.
- Scottish centres hit by gales, torrential rain and warm weather, again.

More snow forecast for Europe, USA 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
There's finally a big snowfall to report somewhere – after weeks of not much happening in Europe or North America.

The US Pacific coast has been hit by a succession of major snowstorms, which have buried ski centres on the West Coast, particularly in California, in deep powder.

The Alps are now seeing warm, dry conditions give way to cooler weather - with snow in the mix. Despite recent warmth, the Alps did get a lot of snow at the start so most areas have good cover and most of their slope depths can survive premature spring thaws for some time.

It is now starting to get colder on high slopes in the Alps and snow has arrived. Temperatures are expected to keep dropping and snow falling through the coming week with accumulations up to a metre by this time next week possible in places.

Austria has seen a third week of warm temperatures but in terms of thawing from actual ski slopes there's not been a lot and most areas remain 90% or more open.

Temperatures have begun dropping, most markedly at altitude and glaciers including the Kitzsteinhorn and Molltal reported fresh snowfall on Wednesday and more since. Temperatures will vary as Foehn winds bring mixed weather this weekend and possibly rain on lower slopes - but by next week we should be closer to freezing to low levels and snowfall should continue, on and off, through the coming week.

French ski areas continue to post the world's deepest snow depths, the only country in fact, where the snow has reached 4 metres up high with Chamonix, Les Arcs and Flaine all claiming that.

Despite a third week of warm temperatures to high altitudes there, as across the Alps, snow depth stats are little changed from a week ago, nor the amount of terrain, which remains at 80-100% in big areas.

Even the huge Portes du Soliel which has more lower altitude runs around its mostly traditional valley resorts like Les Gets and Morzine is posting that it's over 90% open even as bases drop at 1000m.

The French Alps are seeing temperatures dropping and snow arriving too though so hopefully we are back to winter for a while.

Italy also had another week of warm weather but they're used to it in the Dolomites and, as previously, it made no real difference to what was open, which remains pretty much everything - albeit with thin bases at lower altitudes.

The region looks set to see some of the heaviest snowfall of the coming week and sooner than other areas further north, with 40-80cm accumulations possible by early next week which, if it arrives as forecast, will be about the biggest snowfall of the season so far in the region.

Temperatures also dropping back to freezing in valleys at last.

Swiss centres have 'enjoyed' a second week of mostly sunny skies and warm weather. 'Enjoyed' depends a little on your perspective, with some high-altitude resorts with terrain up above 3,000m like Saas Fee reporting how nice it is to be skiing in the sunshine, while those with lower-level slopes struggling to maintain snow cover are a little less vocal.

Regardless, most Swiss ski slopes remain open, thanks to having built good bases before the warm weather arrived. The 4 Valleys with more than 95% of its 410km of slopes open continues to offer the most in the country, although it's nearly 500km skiable from the Swiss side of the Portes du Soleil if you ski over into France for the majority of it.

Lots of Scandinavia's ski centres were closed as we published last week's report as Storm Ingunn was blowing through, the most powerful storm to hit the region in three decades. However, in its aftermath, it did leave plenty of snow, so it was quite the powder weekend. Up to 25cm in 24 hours was reported with coastal Voss noting 50cm there through last weekend.

The only issue was that it destabilised the snowpack for a few days and the avalanche danger was very high, so skiers and boarders were warned to just stay on the runs deemed safe initially.

Another week of warm, sunny weather with the freezing point well above the highest peaks in the Pyrenees most afternoons has further exacerbated the problems facing ski areas in the region as they continue to battle to keep what snowpack there is open.

Most of the big areas like Grandvalira in Andorra and Baqueira Beret in Spain have around half their slopes open with old, hard-packed snow.

Smaller centres and even some of the bigger resorts like Formigal are battling to open even 20-30% of their terrain. The good news is that it's finally looking colder with snow forecast this weekend.

Sadly, the torrential rain, gale force winds and periods of double-digit plus temperatures have caused more issues for Scotland's five centres which are mostly back down to just the nursery slopes operating thanks to all-weather snowmaking machines following the loss of the thin snowpack.

The past few days have been colder and brought some fresh snowfall, improving things a little although not yet making up for lost ground.

Eastern Europe
Mixed conditions continue in Eastern Europe with lower-lying slopes in the northeast battered by torrential rain earlier this week, although higher runs got some snowfall.

The big resorts like Jasna in Slovakia continue to have everything open, but smaller, lower areas are largely closed.

In the southeast, Bulgaria, where the world's best male ski racers will be competing at Bansko this weekend in World Cup races, face similar issues. Borovets has shut down about a third of its previously open terrain after weeks of warm weather and also cancelled night skiing. Bansko, on the other hand, has managed to open more runs and now has about 75% of its slopes open, the most of the season so far.

North America
Conditions in Western Canada continue to be rather hit and miss with warm temperatures and a rising freezing point bringing rain again to lower elevations.

Whistler Blackcomb was forced to issue a statement acknowledging the "challenging conditions" and noting some closures due to rain-damaged slopes. Across the sea on Vancouver Island, Mount Washington was forced to announce a temporary complete closure.

There have been periods of cold weather and snow, so it's a mixed and dynamic situation.

Over in the east it's similar but a little more reliably cold at present and most centres here are open; Tremblant, the largest, fully open.

It's been mostly good news across the US, but especially in California where torrential rain down at sea level translated to a week of heavy snowfall up high.

Mammoth Mountain scored particularly well reporting more than 1.2 metres (four feet) of snow in five days at its base, 2.1m (7 feet) up top, almost as much as they got in all of January and much more than the combined November-December total at the dismal start of the year.

Elsewhere there were good snowfalls in the Rockies too, if not so much or for so long but Taos in New Mexico reported over 30 inches (75cm) of fresh snow there and resorts in Colorado and Utah generally picked up about a foot.
The Admin Man