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J2Ski Snow Report - May 30th 2024

J2Ski Snow Report - May 30th 2024

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Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports

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Admin posted 30-May

Hintertux glacier, Austria, open year-round and one of a few northern hemisphere ski areas still open.

Chile opens early, thanks to some big snowfall, with more expected in South America. Australia and New Zealand will open in a couple of weeks.

The Snow Headlines - May 30th
- Most Chilean ski areas open 3 weeks early after (another) 1m+ of snowfall.
- South Africa's 2024 ski season is due to get underway on Saturday.
- All three of Norway's glacier areas open, Sweden's Riksgransen ends 2024 season.
- Australia's ski season due to begin at the end of next week.
- Italy's Passo Stelvio delays season start this weekend due to snowpack issues.
- Arizona ski area open into June for first time ever on Saturday.

Snow forecast for Argentina

Chile expecting snow too

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World Overview
It's the start of meteorological winter in the southern hemisphere and it's looking like a very good start to the 2024 ski season in South America at least, where more than half a dozen Chilean and Argentinian ski areas have already opened (or will do this weekend) 3-5 weeks earlier than planned due to huge May snowfalls and low temperatures.

The first resorts due to kick off Australia and New Zealand's 2024 ski seasons are 1-2 weeks from opening and hoping for colder weather and more snowfall.

The first (and currently only) southern African ski area, Leostho's Afriski, is also due to open from June 1st, thanks to snowmaking in its case.

Meteorological summertime in the northern hemisphere means only about a dozen resorts remain open in Asia, Europe and North America with one centre ending its season but two others opening for summer skiing in Europe, we'll actually have one more option than we did seven days ago.

In the US, a lot of big-name resorts closed last Monday after the Memorial Day public holiday and only four centres remain open to start June there.

Southern Hemisphere
The Australian ski season is set to start in just over a week, for the King's Birthday long weekend which begins a week on Saturday.

So far, unfortunately, after a few moderate snowfalls in mid-April and then mid-May, it's been mostly dry and sunny for the past few weeks and, in the daytime, rather warm, generally reaching +10 to +12C.

Ski centres have been making snow when they can when lows get a few degrees below freezing overnight, but it looks like the season will start with not a lot open at most resorts and possibly nothing at all at some.

New Zealand
New Zealand ski areas have seen a full autumn mix of weather, with snow showers, some frosty blue sky days and some warmer, wetter spells.

It's still a fortnight until the first are expected to open for the 2024 season and the current forecast is looking fairly promising. That is for temperatures gradually falling to a -4 to +6C range and more rain, sleet and snow showers incoming.

Despite getting the bigger snowfalls in the first half of May, and the continent's largest ski area by uplift being the first centre in the southern hemisphere to get its lifts turning in the middle of the month, for a few days at least, Argentinian ski areas have not emulated their Chilean counterparts in opening early.

The weather has been mixed over the last seven days with sunny spells, some snow showers and temperatures in the -5 to +5C range. The week ahead looks similar although down at Cerro Castor in the south highs will be a few degrees below freezing, with lows around -15C.

More ski areas in Chile have opened after snowfall totals reached 1.8 metres (six feet) or more by last weekend, on top of the heavy snowfalls earlier in the month.

The main season does not really begin for three more weeks but with so much snow lying it makes sense for more to open and La Parva, Valle Nevado, Portillo and El Colorado are among the new centres opening this weekend joining already open Corralco, Nevados de Chillan, Villarrica and Antillanca (some of these are only open at weekends).

The weather has been less dramatic over the past week and should be quieter next week too, with temperatures typically in the -5 to +5C range and some snow forecast.

Southern Africa
Afriski is due to open this weekend, the first in the southern hemisphere to open on its official opening day for 2024, assuming it does. It's not yet clear though how much, if any snow will be waiting for arrivals but webcams have been showing snowmaking underway this week.

Daytime temperatures have been climbing above +10C but overnight lows have been down to -5C allowing systems to work.

The Alps
At the time of writing, the expected increase from five to six glacier ski areas open in the Alps this weekend, has had a setback with the Italian ski area of Passo Stelvio saying it won't now open until next Thursday 6th with preparation work delayed by excess snow needing to be stabilised.

The resulting high avalanche danger delayed slope preparations and the road over the pass being cleared.
At least one of the resort's base hotels is delaying opening to June 9th.

But next Thursday, all being well, it'll join year-round Hintertux and Zermatt (also accessible from the Italian side at Cervinia), Les 2 Alpes in France which is planning to stay open through June, and two more Austrian glaciers, the Kitzsteinhorn and Molltal, both into the final weeks now of their very long 23-24 seasons which began 7-8 months ago.

As to the weather, temperatures on glaciers at 3,000m have mostly been in to -5C to +2C range with regular light-moderate snow showers between sunny spells. Much warmer 2000m below in valleys, as high as +20-25C in the afternoons down there.

All three of Norway's summer glacier areas are now open with Stryn joining already open Fonna and Galdhoppigen at the weekend.

Stryn opened a week earlier than usual, saying it expects it will be a short season as warm temperatures are melting the snow cover fast, but it still has the second deepest snow in the world, at 6 metres, half that of its fellow Norwegian area, Fonna.

The week ahead will see temperatures largely in the +2 to +12C range.

The only centre that had still been open in Sweden, Riksgransen, ended its 2024 season last weekend but currently plans to reopen for a few days of midsummer skiing in late June.

North America
More than half of the nine US ski areas that were open a week ago ended their seasons after the Memorial Day holiday on Monday.

Four are still open, but that number looks set to halve again after this weekend and only Colorado's Arapahoe Basin and Timberline in Oregon look likely to stay open later into June.

This weekend though there's a historic first-ever June opening of the Arizona Snowbowl (on Saturday, June 1st only), and Killington in Vermont also looks like it will make it into June.

It's no surprise that on the whole things are getting ever warmer, with temperatures reaching the 50s (Fahrenheit) in the afternoon even on some of the highest slopes in the US.

There has though, been some cold weather and fresh snow in the northwest in states like Montana and provinces including BC, where Whistler posted 20cm last weekend. Unfortunately everywhere is closed though.
The Admin Man

Edited 1 time. Last update at 30-May-2024