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Get the latest snow and weather conditions in all major ski areas updated on Monday and Thursday afternoons by the Ski Club's information department.
There has been so much sun over our featured Austrian resorts of late, that you would be forgiven for thinking that spring has come early. For the majority of Austrian resorts the common theme is packed upper slopes and softening resort runs, whilst the off piste has now mainly turned to crud. There has been a slight decrease in base depths over the last few days, but some excellent piste skiing remains on offer, especially towards Schladming, where the upper slopes are in great shape.
Atmospheric conditions in Germany, Switzerland and Italy are brilliant for those on holiday from the ever dull English weather. Fun, soft and forgiving snow could be found in abundance on the sunnier open aspects. All in all, despite the warm forecast, it is still a great time to be out in the Alps and in these countries.
Elsewhere in Europe, it was a cloudy day in Andorra where the skiing remains excellent. It was also cloudy in Scandinavia as we await much needed new snow, but on slope skiing remains good. Finally, there was some good skiing in our featured Bulgarian resorts with lots of sunshine too.
Canada, Canada, Canada, what more can we say about this place but what we’ve said already a hundred times: it’s a whopper of a season and that hasn’t changed. Great conditions on both sides of the country.
South of the border it’s a similar story, conditions are fantastic again today in America. Things are also starting to pick up in Alaska now with Alyeska reporting one metre in the past 48 hours.
In the Ski Welt (55/65cm) the resorts of Ellmau, Hoptgarten, Scheffau and Soll have all seen a slight decrease in their base depths, where temperatures of around +5C have certainly been a contributing factor. However, this did not prevent 89/91 lifts running in the area and 263km of well-groomed slopes being prepared.
Looking towards the Schladming area, temperatures were slightly cooler at around +3C, and some excellent skiing was on offer on the upper slopes at Obertauern (110/1170cm), Zauchensee (90/120cm) and Schladming (90/130cm). In the same area at Wagrain (90/170cm), the sun shone bright over the snow park, as skiers and boarders enjoyed a slightly softer landing area to the kickers and rails.
Looking to the current forecast, Friday 17th is expected to be a polar opposite day to Thursday. Snow is predicted across the country, where the heaviest accumulations of over 20cm are expected for the Arlberg resorts of St Anton (60/150cm) and Zurs (70/100cm). Saturday 18th is expected to be a bring a return to brighter skies for much of the country, and fingers are crossed that there will be plenty of fresh tracks to be had,
It was a beautiful day in the Portes du Soleil, where the sun was shining throughout the day. The slopes are in good condition but can soften up fast where exposed to the sun and become hard where they are in the shade for too long. Generally, conditions remain best in Avoriaz (90/120cm) but Chatel (50/90cm) is also a good option.
It was a similarly lovely day in the 3 valleys where the sun was shining. The skiing there is still fantastic as the pistes remain in excellent condition, especially at the top end. Resort runs are pretty variable but even the runs down to St. Martin are still in good condition, despite softening up fast in the strong sun.
The slopes will be best in the morning and that is true across all resorts. As a general rule, slopes will soften up pretty early in the strong sun but will tend to harden where there is shade, so if you want to avoid hard and possibly icy slopes then stay on the sunny side!
The current sunny conditions dominating the Swiss Alps will take a brief break tomorrow, Friday 17th as cloudy and snow conditions return. Snow is forecast for almost everywhere but the accumulations will be small, expect a maximum of 10cm to fall. Sunshine will make an immediate return from Saturday and is currently forecast to remain for most of next week.
A brief patch of instability is expected all around Italy tomorrow with clouds and even snow forecast. It certainly won’t be a powder day but enough to refresh the pistes, particularly around Val Senales (10/90cm) near the Austrian boarder were 12cm is forecast. Beyond Friday’s brief cloudiness the weekend is forecast to be fine and sunny.
Beyond tomorrows expected snowfall conditions will return to bright sunshine until some instability is expected to move in early next week.
Rain continues to dominate the forecast for the coming weekend, with the earliest snow next predicted for Wednesday 22nd February.
Elsewhere in Colorado the weather has shifted producing some brilliant sunny days. However, Utah is suffering with rain falling on the ski slopes today.
As always the forecast for the USA is mixed but mostly for decent snowfalls. Next week will see some disgustingly big snowfalls hit the Sierra Nevada’s again. Mammoth and Squaw Valley may see almost one metre in 24 hours on Monday. The American winter continues to impress.
European Weather Outlook
Beyond this brief period of snowy conditions sunshine will make an immediate return. How long will it stay in place for? Currently long range forecasting suggests we shouldn’t expect any new snow until at least the 24th of February. For now it’s a case of making the best of what’s available and working on that google tan.
In Andorra and Spain, atmospheric conditions are slightly more unsettled with a mix of sun and cloud this weekend. Next week Sierra Nevada in Spain may well kick things off with almost a metre of snow forecast for Monday 20th.
In far north Scandinavia expect a continuation of overcast dull conditions. No significant snowfall is currently forecast.
North American Weather Outlook
The next six days are going to bring more snow This time the hotspot will definitely be the Sierra Nevada range hitting California and Nevada with the kind of ferocity that no longer surprises us to be quite honest.