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J2Ski Snow Report - February 22nd 2024

J2Ski Snow Report - February 22nd 2024

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Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports

J2Ski Snow Report - February 22nd 2024

Admin posted 22-Feb

The view from Les Deux Alpes, France, about to get new snow...

More snow has arrived in the western USA. A cold snap, with a lot of snow, is rolling in for many European Alpine ski areas.

The Snow Headlines - February 22nd
- Another series of major storms dumps feet more snow on Western US.
- Europe's most northerly ski area Riksgransen opening for 2024 season this weekend.
- Warm weather in the Alps, Dolomites and Pyrenees again but snowfall arriving now.
- Scottish ski centres forced to close all or most slopes by warm temperatures.
- Significant snowfall (30-60cm) expected for the Alps into the weekend.
- Mammoth Mountain reports 10 feet (2.5m) of snowfall in first 3 weeks of February.

A lot of 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
The significant snowfall forecast for the Alps for 2 weeks appears to be finally here.

The snow is starting to fall as we complete this week's report and is expected to continue through to the weekend, bringing quite significant accumulations by Sunday/Monday, fingers crossed. Although this should mean there's finally some off-piste powder to enjoy, snow safety experts like Henry's Avalanche Talk are warning of high avalanche danger on certain slopes.

There was already a 10-30cm fall in the Alps at the start of the week which offset the fact that ongoing warm weather has led to a slight decrease in depths and open terrain, although both remain pretty good.

Elsewhere in Europe, more southerly resorts in the Pyrenees and Bulgaria continue to battle warm temperatures and Scotland's ski areas have very little left open after mild temperatures there.

Scandinavia though remains mostly cold and fully open with loads of fresh snow and fast-lengthening daylight hours.

Across the Atlantic there's been coast-to-coast snowfall on US ski slopes, heaviest in the West and the Rockies but good too in New England and the East. Further north in Canada there's not been much fresh, although most areas, other than those on BC's Pacific coast, are fully open.

The amount of open terrain, at lower ski areas, is dropping slightly in Austria as the warmer temperatures overtake snow-making efforts.

But for the country's bigger resorts at least, we are just losing a few runs and still talking 80-90% open.

It has actually been a cooler week than last with the highest temperatures in single figures even at low levels, rather than the double-digits we saw earlier in February. There have also been light to moderate snow showers between the sunny spells throughout the week.

Many Austrian resorts posted 20-30cm falls on Tuesday morning and more, larger, falls are just starting and expected to continue into early next week.

The Arlberg region around St Anton is still posting the most terrain open, 270km, and still has one of the country's deepest bases up high at 3.6 metres, so is looking good for the final months of the season.

French resorts have had a return to conditions as they were before the snowfalls earlier last week, with mostly sunny skies, hard-packed pistes and warm valley temperatures, particularly in the southern Alps (which saw the biggest snowfalls earlier this month) where we got to highs well above 10C in valleys this week.

That said snowfall – generally just 5-10cm – did reach many areas earlier this week before temperatures rose again. Conditions above 1800m remain good with most of France's big areas at least 90% open and while ski areas in Japan and the US are finally catching up, the five deepest bases in the world at present remain on high slopes in France – including Alpe d'Huez, Flaine and Les Arcs – so plenty left to see out the season now.

We are now changing back to colder, snowier conditions, with some of the biggest falls of this year so far expected over the next few days.

Italy has enjoyed a largely sunny 7 days since last week's report.

Some light snow showers have bubbled up from time to time on higher slopes, adding just a few centimetres to base depths, but as has been the norm for much of 2024 so far, it's been predominantly sunny skies and temperatures climbing up above +10C below 1500m in the afternoons.

Higher up the snow conditions remain good and most slopes remain open, on the groomed runs at least.

Val Gardena is 100% open with the most terrain entirely in Italy and in the Dolomites – over 180km.

The Milky Way (with some of its terrain in France) and Matterhorn Glacier paradise (much of it in Switzerland) have more terrain open (that is accessible from Italy) though – both at nearly 300km.

More significant snowfall is forecast over the next few days, potentially bringing 30-60cm accumulations by the start of next week.

Swiss slopes did see some snowfall on Monday-Tuesday with accumulations of up to 30cm reported.

Engelberg, which in past years has posted the deepest snow in Europe – reaching 6 metres by early March – has reached a 3-metre depth this week after another 20cm.

Sunny and dry again midweek but here too some big snowfalls - most optimistically 30-70cm accumulations over the next 48 hours – are forecast.

Scandinavia continues to post excellent conditions with more low temperatures and some fresh snowfalls over the last seven days and still more forecast too.

The snow here is staying in great shape thanks to sub-zero temperatures but daylight hours are increasing so there's no longer the reliance on floodlit slopes.

Riksgransen in Northern Sweden opens for its 2024 season this weekend. It will have 24-hour daylight by early May when it will again offer skiing and boarding under the midnight sun.

Some light snow showers have refreshed higher slopes in Andorra, Spain and the Spanish Pyrenees but it has been mostly sunny with the same issue we've had almost all season of temperatures getting above +10C in the afternoons even at 1500m altitudes.

The battle to keep runs open at the big areas continues but is gradually being lost with Spain's Baqueira Beret and Andorra's Grandvalira (Soldeu, Pas de la Casa et al) both dropping terrain to about 55% open now.

Small low centres remain closed or struggling to open more than 10 or 20% of their runs.

There is more snow forecast but probably not enough to completely transform things. All that said, most skiers are happy on the higher runs in the sunshine and 100km+ in the big areas is enough for most.

Sadly warm temperatures have led to snow loss across Scottish slopes this week and there's little open beyond the all-weather snowmaker maintained learning areas at Cairngorm, Glenshee and The Lecht with Nevis Range closed again for snowsports completely and Glencoe just with its dry slope.

There is some hope though, with colder, snowy weather forecast for the latter half of this week and into next, which will hopefully be enough for some terrain to be re-opened.

Eastern Europe
Bulgaria's ski centres are highlighting that "this is the time to get a sun tan while you ski" focusing on the upside of the ongoing warm, dry conditions and not the downside of thawing slopes!

To be fair, there was little change on last week with skiing mostly on the upper half of the mountains, but long runs down to the base maintained.

Up in the northeast of Europe, conditions remain fairly good at the larger centres in Poland and the Czech and Slovak Republics. Bases and open slopes have dropped slightly but colder, snowy weather is arriving for the end of the week which should reverse losses.

North America
There's been little change to Canadian snow conditions this week with Western ski areas seeing 10-20cm of fresh snow through the week, mostly at the rate of a few centimetres each day. Conditions have been colder in the east, and the snow conditions in Quebec and Ontario appear more mid-wintery, with temperatures down as low as -20C.

Most ski areas in Alberta and BC are close to fully open, with Whistler Blackcomb, which has struggled due to the impact of warm weather on the lower half of its slopes all season, reportedly back up to 90% open.

Other, lower, British Columbian coastal centres still have only 15-30% of their slopes open though.

The US has posted the best snowfall totals in the world over the last seven days, for the second week in the past three.

A major series of storms moving in from the Pacific hit cold enough air for more big dumps, with ski areas in California, Utah and Wyoming the main beneficiaries.

However, there's been snowfall right across the country, with even Midwest and Mid-Atlantic ski areas reporting powder conditions in the weekend, as well as those up in New England.

Mammoth Mountain, Jackson Hole and Utah resorts like Snowbird and the country's largest ski area at Park City all reported several feet of new snow with Alta now close to a 4-metre base, the deepest in the world outside France.
The Admin Man

Edited 1 time. Last update at 22-Feb-2024