Latest snow report
Updated: 2.45pm Thursday 11 February 2016
Snow conditions are generally good across the Alps as we approach half term, even if the weather is set to remain volatile until early next week - perhaps longer.
Recent snowfalls have benefited both the northern and the southern Alps, though with freezing levels all over the place, there has also been some rain low down.
The deepest snow is at altitude in the north-western half of the Alps, where we have seen 30-70cm of new snow this week and upper base depths have reached or surpassed 3m in a number of resorts, including Engelberg, Andermatt and Chamonix.
By contrast, the snow cover (in the north-west Alps) is still thin below 1500m, due to fluctuating temperatures and several bouts of rain. Wengen and Morzine, for example, have just 10-30cm of snow on their lower slopes and need more to prevent problems later in the season.
Elsewhere in the Alps, snow cover is generally ok, and certainly much improved in the southern Alps thanks to two major snowfalls in the last week. Conditions have also improved (overall) in Austria, though snow cover is still a bit thin in some lower resorts, something to watch later in the season, unless there are further falls soon.
Across the pond, it’s been a very quiet week (generally speaking) with plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures...
Snow conditions are pretty good across most of Austria right now, though a lack of sustained cold this season means that that base depths remain modest at low altitude, especially in the south. Zell-am-See (in the north) has 30/120cm of settled snow depending on altitude, while Bad Kleinkirchheim (in the south) has 5/45cm.
Glaciers aside, the very best conditions are in the higher resorts of the western Austrian Alps, such as Lech (140/190cm) and Warth-Schröcken (170/210cm).
A little snow is possible at times over the weekend, but not generally amounting to much. It won’t be particularly cold, however, with a few spots of rain also possible low down.
Snow conditions are excellent in most French resorts, with the deepest snow at altitude in the north. Les Arcs has settled snow depths of 125/230cm, while Avoriaz has 100/190cm. Only below 1500m, in resorts such as Morzine (30/90cm), is the snow a bit thin.
Southern Alpine resorts are also much improved over the last week, thanks to two significant snowfalls. Serre Chevalier now has a very respectable 25/145cm, while Risoul has 60/80cm.
Further snow is expected over the weekend, which may briefly turn to rain below 1500m in places on Saturday.
Snow conditions in Italy are much improved following two significant snowfalls in the last week.
It should be pointed out, however, that even before this snow there was some excellent piste skiing on offer in the drought afflicted areas (such as the Dolomites), thanks to their state-of-the-art snow making. Arabba now has 40/50cm of settled snow, while Livigno has 75/100cm.
The deepest snow is currently in the north-west, where La Thuile boasts 60/220cm and Courmayeur has 90/190cm.
Heavy snow is looking increasingly likely in Italian ski resorts from late Monday onwards.
Swiss resorts are enjoying some excellent conditions in the run-up to half term, with decent snow cover across the board, and above average snow depths at altitude in the west
Base depths are 30/200cm in Zermatt and Verbier, and 75/255cm in Mürren.
Further snow is expected over the weekend, heaviest in the west.
Rest of Europe
The Pyrenees have also seen a little fresh snow this week, with a lot of more forecast over the weekend - though watch out for some rain for a time on Friday night. By early next week, however, snow conditions should be excellent in Andorra’s Soldeu (40/70cm) and Spain’s Baqueira Beret (60/115cm).
Over in Bulgaria, Bansko (65/100cm) hasn’t seen much snow recently, but there is some in the forecast over the next few days which should help things to freshen up here.
Meanwhile, most Norwegian resorts are in great shape, especially Hemsedal (117cm mid-mountain), where there was nearly a foot of new snow on Tuesday.
Good conditions are also reported in Scotland this week, on-piste at least, with base depths currently at 25/55cm in Glencoe.
It’s been a quiet week across the western US with lots of sunshine and mild temperatures. On-piste, snow conditions are still pretty good, but off-piste most resorts are tracked out and/or spring-like.
At the moment, Vail (Colorado) has a 147cm mid-mountain base, while Snowbird (Utah) has 229cm, also mid-mountain. Still leading the way though, California’s Mammoth is claiming an impressive 419cm (upper mountain).
There is a little fresh snow at altitude in Whistler (252cm mid-mountain), but it is mild, with rain in resort and variable lower slope conditions.
It has also been on the mild side further inland, but on-piste at least the skiing is still very good in Revelstoke (221cm mid-mountain).
Next full snow report will be on Monday 15 February 2016,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates