Latest snow report
Updated: 5.35pm Monday 22 February 2016
Following a generally excellent half-term, snow conditions in the Alps have become much more variable over the last couple of days, thanks to a sharp rise in temperature.
This has led to quite a lot of snow loss at low altitude, especially on the northern side of the Alps where it has been more humid and there was rain late on Saturday, and early on Sunday.
Thankfully though, this latest warm spell is now past its peak and temperatures will cool off again this week, perhaps becoming very cold over the weekend. There will also be further snow at times, chiefly across the northern Alps on Tuesday and Wednesday, but with the chance of some really heavy snow in the south towards the weekend.
In summary, snow conditions in the Alps are set to improve again after this sharp, but short-lived thaw.
Across the pond, snow conditions remain good in most areas, with a little new snow here and there, with the best skiing perhaps in northern Colorado…
It has been exceptionally mild in the Austrian Alps over the last couple of days, which means that snow conditions are spring-like low down in resorts such as Saalbach (50/80cm) and Söll (50/65cm).
Glaciers aside, the very best snow conditions are in resorts with plenty of terrain above 2000m, such as Obergurgl (30/170cm and Ischgl (30/115cm).
It will turn colder again on Tuesday with snow in places, heaviest in the north and west.
A sharp rise in temperatures has led to more variable snow conditions in the French Alps over the last couple of days, especially in low altitude ski resorts such as Megève (50/190cm), where it is looking a bit soggy today.
The best conditions are in resorts with plenty of skiing above 2200m, such as Val d’Isère (130/255cm) and La Plagne (120/250cm), though poor visibility may be an issue at times.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) will see slightly cooler conditions with some snow, especially in the north, with a few really big snowfalls possible in the southern Alps towards the weekend.
Like everywhere else in the Alps, it has been exceptionally mild over the last couple of days in Italy, which means snow conditions are variable, with the best snow quality in high altitude ski resorts such as Cervinia (75/240cm) and Passo Tonale (60/120cm).
Lower down the going is heavier, but on-piste at least you can still find enjoyable skiing in Corvara (35/70cm) and Sauze d’Oulx (35/50cm).
It should start to turn cooler tomorrow, with bits and pieces of snow for some resorts mid-week, before a major storm delivers a more serious dump towards the weekend (more likely in the central and western Italian Alps).
The exceptionally mild weather has led to a deterioration in snow conditions at low altitude, especially in the northern Swiss Alps.
Wengen (20/120cm) is one resort where snow cover is on the thin side at resort level. That said, there is still plenty of good skiing at altitude both here, and more generally across Switzerland. Zermatt currently has base depths of 20/200cm depending on altitude, while Andermatt has 40/310cm.
It is expected to turn a bit colder tomorrow with some fresh snow in places, heaviest at altitude in the north.
Rest of Europe
The best snow conditions in the Pyrenees are probably in Spain’s Baqueira Beret (90/175cm) following significant snowfall last week. Base depths are more modest in Andorra, but Soldeu (50/100cm) also offers some decent skiing right now, with heavy snow expected for much of the Pyrenees towards the weekend.
In Bulgaria, the snow drought continues in Bansko (65/100cm), where conditions are reported to be spring-like, with the best skiing on-piste.
Up in Scandinavia, the best conditions are in western Norway, where there has been over 1m of fresh snow in Voss (95/240cm) in the last week alone.
Scottish ski resorts also have plenty of snow, with the deepest cover in Glencoe (60/120cm) where you can find powder both on and off-piste.
Some snow is expected in Colorado later today and early tomorrow. This will be heaviest in the north, which will suit the likes of Vail (142cm mid-mountain). The rest of the week is likely to be dry and relatively mild though.
It is also mild in California, where Mammoth (266/419cm) may have some of the most impressive base depths in the country, though right now spring-snow conditions rule.
For the most consistent snow conditions in the US, Utah is as good as anywhere right now, with 216cm mid mountain in Snowbird.
Whistler (262cm mid-mountain) is in excellent shape following 60cm+ of new snow in the last week. The weather is more settled this week with plenty of sunshine (until Friday at least) and mild temperatures.
Good skiing can also be found further inland, with 270cm of settled snow now in Big White, where nearly a foot of snow fell on Friday.
Next full snow report will be on Thursday 25 February 2016,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates