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Snow overview - our twice-weekly round up of the latest snow conditions in the mountains

Snow Overview

Our twice-weekly round up of the latest snow conditions in the mountains

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.

Monday 26 January 2015

latest Ski Club Snowcast

Summary

Snow has fallen across the Alps this weekend, refreshing pistes and providing some fresh tracks across our featured resorts. A significant spell of snowy weather is expected this week and into next weekend, with between 50 and 100cm forecast across the region, with some spots possibly seeing even more. 

Austria has had another great weekend for snow, followed by a mixture of sunshine and cloud on Monday 26th January.

Good skiing is to be found across France at present, with many resorts seeing a nice top up of snow over the weekend. Base depths are still down on average, but the hard work of resort crews is paying off and conditions, especially on piste, are pretty good. Heavy snow is in the forecast for later this week.

New snow fell across much of Switzerland over the weekend, with resorts seeing between 5 and 15cm of fresh powder on Sunday. Lots more is forecast this week, so conditions should improve further.

Italy was fairly divided in terms of weather on Monday 26th January with some parts blanketed in early morning cloud and other resorts seeing plenty of sunshine.

Some light snow has been reported in the Pyrenees over the weekend and with lots forecast this week, conditions are set to improve further.

There are some great conditions across Scandinavia currently, with resorts seeing yet more snowfall. Temperatures are remaining low so the snow is excellent both on and off piste.

New snow has improved the skiing in Bulgaria, with the pistes freshened up nicely. Bansko caught the most, with 25cm picked up over the course of the weekend.

Good skiing is still available in Scotland although high winds have affected lift operations in recent days. A light dusting of fresh snow on Monday has softened the pistes slightly and more snow is forecast this week.

Conditions across in America continue to impress following more snow this week. A mostly sunny weekend is forecast, so the skiing should be excellent.

New snow was picked up across much of Canada over the weekend. Temperatures have risen above freezing in the Rockies leading to some softer conditions, but over on the east it remains very cold, preserving the snow in excellent condition.

Austria

There was yet more fresh snow seen in Austria with most of our featured resorts seeing plenty of the fresh stuff this weekend. The average snowfall was around 5cm but some resorts recorded up to 20cm.

Fieberbrunn (45/100cm) is definitely worth mentioning as the resort profited from up to 20cm of fresh snow on Sunday. As a result the pistes are now well packed and groomed with plenty of fresh powder off the piste. All 11 lifts were spinning for their guests on Monday 26th January, but visibility was a little affected due to the overcast skies. 

The current cloudy skies residing above parts of Austria are expected to stay and some decent falls of snow are expected by the end of Tuesday. Wednesday 28th could bring some sunshine but then we are expecting lots of thick cloud cover from Thursday onwards, which is forecast bring snow to the whole country.

France

Most of the northern and western parts of the French Alps caught some new snowfall over the weekend, although the southern Alps missed out. Light snow was falling in these areas again on Monday 26th January, but it the south some sunshine was still to be found.

Tignes (51/110cm) picked up 5cm of light dry snow on Sunday and the Ski Club Ambassador in resort reported some great conditions as a result. At the other end of the Espace Killy, some great skiing was also reported in Val d’Isere (51/110cm).

The Portes du Soleil is offering some good skiing, especially on the upper slopes. Avoriaz (100/150cm) offers the pick of the conditions as it sits at high altitude, although the Ski Club Ambassador in resort reported some icy patches on resort runs later in the day. 189 lifts were in operation across the area on Monday 26th January and all of the links were open.

A period of persistent heavy snowfall is expected for the northern and western French Alps between Thursday and Sunday, with up a metre of fresh snow forecast during the period. Unfortunately the southern resorts such as Isola 2000 are expected to miss out on significant falls.

Cauterets (100/170cm) in the Pyrenees currently has one of the greatest base depths in the country and saw a further 10cm of fresh snow on Sunday 25th. Lots more is forecast for the Pyrenees this week and Cauterets may pick up more than 70cm of fresh snow.

Switzerland

It was a changeable weekend of weather for Switzerland, with most resorts seeing some snowfall, but also catching some good sunny breaks. Piste conditions are good throughout the country and some fresh tracks off piste can still be found.

Some excellent pistes were reported by a Ski Club staff member in Murren (43/115cm) this weekend, providing a perfect slope for Saturday’s Inferno Race. Across the valley in Grindelwald (7/110cm) the conditions at First were very good, with most runs open and even the long red pistes back down into the village in great condition.

Verbier (20/105cm) and Nendaz (10/165cm) in the 4 Vallees ski area were both reporting some great skiing over the weekend. 73 lifts were spinning across the area, with Mont Gele in particular providing some excellent conditions.

The most snow was picked up a Leysin (20/40cm) and Les Mosses (20/40cm), which saw 15cm on Sunday 25th. The base depth is still well below average, but conditions are improving with every new fall of snow.

Some very heavy snow is in the forecast for the week ahead in Switzerland, particularly in the north and west. Up to 25cm is expected by Tuesday morning, with a further 50-75cm between Thursday and Monday. Further east at resorts such as Samnaun and St Moritz, less is expected, but a total of 30cm is still possible this week.
 

Italy

The recent influx of fresh snow has continued in Italy and the piste bashers have been out and conditions are now very good across the country. Many base depths have risen significantly and there are still pockets of fresh powder to be found off many pistes.

Cervinia (40/220cm) grabs the headlines again in Italy as it is snowing once again. Monday 26th January saw reasonably heavy snowfall with up to 15cm falling during the day. It’s very cold in Cervinia at the moment but all the lifts were open with lots of fresh powder and good links into Zermatt, Switzerland.

The week ahead looks as though there will be some pockets of sunshine but towards the middle of the week there is quite a lot of cloud predicted but there is a very good chance of fresh snow.

Andorra

Light snow was falling on Monday 26th January, refreshing the piste conditions. The Grandvalira area picked up 8cm of fresh snow by 9am, with some more expected by the evening. Soldeu (40/100cm) was running all of its 17 lifts and with the fresh snow, the conditions are very good. Arcalis (70/120cm) caught 5cm of new snow, refreshing the pistes nicely for the week ahead. Lots more snow is in the forecast, with a possible 70cm expected by the end of the weekend.

Norway/Sweden

The excellent season in Scandinavia continues, with yet more snow reported over the weekend. Ski conditions are excellent both on and off piste.

Voss (110/195cm) again was the snowiest resort, recording another 45cm of fresh snow over the weekend. Trysil (115/115cm) also fared well this weekend picking up 11cm of fresh snow, and with all 31 lifts and 67 slopes open, conditions across the mountain are excellent. Another 20cm of snow is forecast this week, although a brief period of sunny weather is expected on Tuesday.

Over in Sweden some new snow has fallen, with Are (40/48cm) and Salen (75/86cm) both receiving a good top up. Most lifts are open although cloudy skies are limiting visibility at present. More snow is forecast this week, with a further 20cm possible.

Germany

It has been a snowy weekend for our featured German resorts, with all resorts picking up some new snow. Garmisch (20/275cm) caught the most, recording 25cm by the morning of Monday 26th January. Spitzingsee (40/77cm) saw a welcome 20cm of fresh snow and was running nine out of 15 lifts, but more snow is needed for the whole area to open up. The good news is that lots more snow is forecast, with up to 50cm forecast by the weekend.

Bulgaria

New snow has freshened up the pistes across Bulgaria and more light snow was falling on Monday 26th January. Bansko (40/160cm) picked up around 25cm over the weekend, providing some great powder skiing on the upper slopes. Borovets (85/110cm) saw another good top up, adding to the already good base depth. Light snow is expected until Wednesday before the clouds clear on Thursday.

Scotland

There was a slight thaw in Scotland on Sunday, although very little damage has been done and very little base depth has been lost. The problem on Monday 26th January was the wind, which was affecting lift operations, especially at Cairngorm (50/80cm), Glencoe (50/120cm) and Nevis Range (45/100cm). The best sliding was therefore at The Lecht (50/70cm) and Glenshee (50/70cm) which are both slightly more sheltered from the winds.

A light dusting of snow was recorded at all five ski areas on Monday morning, but more significant snow is forecast for later this week. Some very cold air is set to dig in on Wednesday and some spells of heavy snow are forecast until the weekend.

USA

The Rockies have been enjoying a great period of settled and mostly sunny weather, providing some great skiing conditions. Most resorts in Colorado saw a dusting of new snow over the weekend. Monday 26th January dawned sunny and mild, with mid-mountain temperatures topping +7C for some, providing an early taste of some spring skiing.

Vail (107cm) had all 31 lifts in operation, providing access to some excellent groomed terrain and thanks to the warm temperatures, some soft off piste too. The X-Games have been held over the past few days in Aspen (130cm), with some spectacular action on Buttermilk Mountain. Ski conditions across all four areas are excellent so it was a great weekend to be in resort.

Unfortunately California continues to miss out on the good season that has been seen elsewhere in the country. Mammoth (51/102cm) is expecting a dusting of snow in the next couple of days, but a really big dump is needed before more runs can open. Heavenly (81cm) can currently only offer 175 acres of its 4,800 acres which indicates how desperate Californian resorts are for snow. Unfortunately there is still no indication that this much needed new snow is imminent.

Over on the east coast a big winter storm is approaching and could deposit over 30cm of fresh snow by Wednesday morning, with Sunday River (71cm) and Mount Snow (46/82cm) set to be in the firing line for the heaviest falls. Recent cold conditions have preserved the snow at these resorts in excellent condition, so the skiing is already very good.

Canada

The pick of the conditions in Canada are on the east coast, where bitterly cold temperatures combined with some light top ups are leading to some excellent pistes. Wrap up warm however as at Tremblant (100/180cm) the thermometer was reading -31C at 7am on Monday morning, with expected highs of around -13C. Some more light snow is expected this week and temperatures are set to remain well below freezing, so the fantastic snow conditions will be preserved.

Over on the west coast much warmer air is in place, resulting in a softening of the lower slopes in particular. New snow was picked up over the weekend however and the overall coverage remains very good. Fernie (134cm) was offering skiing from all 10 of its lifts on Monday 26th January, but with temperatures expected to hit +10C in the afternoon on the lower slopes, some heavy conditions are possible. A slight cooling is expected this week, before clouds move in by the weekend, potentially bringing some light snowfall.

Slightly colder air was still in place in Alberta, preserving some excellent snow conditions at the Banff (128cm) resorts. 36cm of snow has been recorded in the past week at Sunshine Village, so with the cold temperatures some good powder stashes can still be found. Some flurries are possible through the week, but otherwise expect some good periods of sunshine.

European Weather Outlook

The snow falling in the western Alps on Monday is forecast to move east, so all resorts should see some powder come Tuesday morning. Between 20 and 30cm is forecast over a large area, with the heaviest falls in the north, with the southern Alps only seeing some light flurries. A much heavier period of snowfall is expected from Thursday onwards, potentially carrying through into the start of next week. Northern areas will see the most snow, with current forecasts suggesting they will pick up 50-75cm of fresh snow. Less is forecast for the southern Alps, but totals of around 20-30cm can still be expected. Temperatures will remain low; with freezing levels dropping below 500m from Friday onwards, so make sure you have a set of snow chains if driving to the Alps this weekend.

Light snow is expected in Andorra to start the new week before brighter skies return on Wednesday. This will not last long however as heavy snow is expected between Thursday and Sunday. Totals of 60-80cm are currently forecast so there should be some excellent powder to start off the month of February.

Some sunshine is expected in Scandinavia on Tuesday, before a return to cloudier and snowier weather. Up to 20cm of new snow is predicted before the skies are set to clear on Saturday – so the weekend’s skiing could be fantastic, especially as temperatures are set to remain nicely below freezing.

Light snow is forecast to remain in place until Wednesday in Bulgaria, before the clouds part to reveal some good sunny breaks on Thursday and Friday. A return to cloudy and snowy weather is currently expected on Saturday.

A return to snowy weather is forecast this week for Scotland and by Wednesday the freezing level should have dropped right down to the surface. Current indications suggest the heaviest snow will fall in the west (Glencoe & Nevis Range) on Wednesday/Thursday and then in the east (Cairngorm, The Lecht, Glenshee) on Thursday/Friday. Winds are forecast to be high so watch out for disruption to lift operations.

North American Weather Outlook

A settled week of weather is forecast for western Canada, with mostly sunny skies dominating the overhead conditions. A cloudier change is forecast for Friday, potentially bringing some light snow on Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures are expected to hover around freezing at mid-mountain so for the best conditions head to the upper slopes.

On the west coast of the USA, more clouds are forecast to move in on Tuesday, bringing an end to the settled period of weather. Some light snow is predicted for Utah and Colorado between Wednesday and Friday before the sun returns on Saturday. It is currently cloudier already in California which may lead dusting of snow this week, with potentially 10cm expected. Much more is needed, but this fall will provide a welcome top up as our featured resorts haven’t seen snow since December.

Across on the east coast a massive winter storm hit on Monday, with heavy snow expected to continue right through into Tuesday. Temperatures will remain well below freezing and over 30cm is forecast to low levels. Wednesday is the day to be out skiing as a sunny break in the weather is expected before more snow arrives on Thursday/Friday.

Eastern Canada can expect the current cold conditions to continue, with temperatures struggling to top -10C at mid-mountain. Some light snow is forecast on Tuesday and Thursday before a significant drop in temperature to around -20C at mid-mountain comes in on Friday.
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