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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.
latest Ski Club Snowcast
Almost all of our featured Austrian resorts are open but a small number are still on hold until conditions improve. For the majority that were open it was mainly cloudy with a few sunny spells and there is light snow forecast in the later hours but only at altitude, with rain lower down.
Thursday morning dawned rainy below between 2,000-2,500m across much of the French Alps. Up high good powder conditions have been reported, but lower down the slopes are suffering.
New snow fell on Wednesday at most Swiss resorts but Thursday unfortunately started rainy, with snow levels rising to 2,500m. The best conditions into the weekend are therefore likely to be at altitude.
Good skiing is available in Italy predominantly in the higher resorts where base depths are much more substantial. There are still four of our featured Italian resorts yet to open as a result of the lack of snow.
The majority of lifts were turning across Andorra today, but unfortunately mild temperatures brought some light rain on Wednesday night. As a result, some heavy on piste conditions are likely. Similar conditions exist in the Spanish resorts of Formigal and Baquiera-Beret.
The very good early season conditions in Norway continued this week, with some new snow falling at all resorts. Again Voss on the west coast has seen the most snowfall, topping a metre of powder on the upper slopes in the past seven days. Decent skiing is also available in Sweden, particularly at Salen which had 40 lifts turning on Thursday.
Good skiing under sunny skies was on offer in Bankso this week, although the best skiing remains on the upper slopes. Pamporovo was also open for limited skiing and Borovets is due to be open this weekend for skiing.
Three Scottish ski areas were open for skiing on Thursday 18th December, although high winds were limiting snowsports at Cairngorm to only the funicular. More snow is in the forecast and if the weather calms down on the weekend, we may see a full house of open resorts for the first time this season.
New snow has refreshed pistes across North America, on both the west and the east coast. Parts of Colorado and Utah also saw some excellent snowfalls earlier this week leading to some good powder days. California has really joined the party this week, with two big storms dropping lots of new snow on resorts such as Mammoth and Squaw Valley.
Light snow was falling on the west coast of Canada on Thursday, and with more in the forecast; conditions should improve following last week’s warm weather. The east coast also saw some decent snowfall totals overnight and should receive more in the run up to the weekend.
Despite the poor weather there are still good riding conditions particularly on the higher resorts and glaciers. Solden (0/190cm) has plenty of options at high altitude, although the resort runs are closed there were 24 lifts running in total on Thursday. A recent snowfall of around 5cm on Wednesday has bolstered the high altitude runs and resort teams are reporting good, groomed pistes as a result.
The current warm weather is expected to subside and drop back down to below freezing, and the weekend’s forecast is indicating cloudy skies on Saturday with a good chance of fresh snow to all of our featured resorts. Some resorts are expecting up to 8cm. It could get much warmer at the start of the week but come Christmas time the temperature is looking like dropping back down again.
The best conditions again remain at altitude, with glacier resorts seeing the most snowfall but more importantly snow on Thursday rather than rain. Tignes (25/40cm) saw 20cm up on the Grande Motte glacier and over the links across to Val d’Isere (10/40cm). Val Thorens (60/100cm) continues its excellent start to the season, reporting 20cm of fresh snow and owing to its high altitude it was still snowing on Thursday.
Elsewhere, the situation is not looking as good. In the lower resorts, such as those in the Portes du Soleil the rain has been a big set back. The upper slopes should hold on to Wednesday’s snowfall, but the latest webcam images on Thursday suggest that at resort level much of this is already melting.
As many resorts are due to open this weekend, keep an eye on resort websites for the latest opening information following Thursday’’s rainfall.
The greatest amount of snow fell in the Bernese Oberland, at resorts such as Gstaad (0/65cm), Wengen (0/25cm) and Crans-Montana (5/40cm). However due to Thursday’s rain, only very limited skiing was available at these resorts and heavy piste conditions were prevalent below 2,500m.
The best skiing during the week has been at altitude, with the pick of the conditions at Zermatt (5/95cm) and Saas-Fee (25/190cm) up at altitude. New snow should improve the piste conditions for the weekend, but resort runs may become icy once the forecast cooler weather arrives on Saturday.
After a warm and mostly sunny Friday, Saturday should bring much colder weather and the potential for some light snowfall, especially in the north of Switzerland.
There is a still lot of good riding available in Italy despite recent weather. The Presena Glacier (40/350cm) has an excellent base depth and on Thursday there were 20 lifts in operation. The weather was a mixture of sunshine and cloud with a mid-mountain temperature of around 2C.
Cesena, Courmayeur, Claviere and Macugnaga are all still closed until snow conditions improve.
If you are heading out to any of our featured Italian resorts this weekend you can expect much brighter skies, there should be a few spots of cloud but on the whole it’ll be fairly sunny. The temperature looks as though it will drop and hover around zero before rising at the start of the new week, however come Christmas time a cold front will settle in, which will reduce temperatures significantly and could bring fresh snow.
Despite its relatively shallow snow depth, Salen (25/30cm) had 40 lifts open, with more possible over the weekend. Some light snowfall this week has softened the pistes and most of them are in very good condition considering the base depth. Are (10/20cm) had five lifts open, mainly thanks to lots of snowmaking. Some welcome natural snowfall is expected on Sunday.
Telluride (94cm) saw the most snowfall on Thursday 18th December, with 21cm of new snow. Elsewhere, up to 10cm of snow has fallen at resorts such as Vail (79cm) and Breckenridge (89cm).
Excellent snow has also been reported in California this week, with two large storms depositing big snowfalls, particularly on the upper mountain. Squaw Valley (97cm) saw 33cm in the latest storm and with more forecast, the conditions will be fantastic in the run up to Christmas.
The east coast has not missed out either, with new snow reported on Thursday morning at Sunday River (51cm) and Killington (40/60cm). Cold weather, accompanied with sunny skies is forecast for the weekend so the skiing should be great.
The most was falling on the east coast, with Tremblant (65/95cm) and Mont Sainte-Anne (15/122cm) seeing up to 10cm by the end of Wednesday night. Piste conditions will undoubtedly be improved by the new snowfall.
Light snow was also dropping on Whistler (90cm) and Silver Star (57/84cm), freshening up the pistes ahead of the weekend. Good news is in the forecast as more snow is expected, with Whistler potentially seeing 50cm by next week.
European Weather Outlook
Norway and Sweden are forecast a different week to most of Europe though, with fresh snow predicted on most days. The Swedish resort of Salen may be the exception here though as less snow may land at this resort.
The Scottish resorts should see a similarly cloudy week to the Scandinavian resorts although rain may result at times and strong winds are expected, which could affect lift operations. Fresh snowfall is forecast at times though, and Christmas visitors could be in for a great time with snow on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
North American Weather Outlook
In America over half a metre of snow is forecast at mid-mountain level at Jackson Hole, Keystone, Canyons, Breckenridge, Park City, Solitude, Snowbird, Alta, Copper Mountain and Crested Butte. Crested Butte is predicted the greatest amount of snow with 58cm forecast at mid-mountain level by Friday 26th December.
Whistler should receive the most fresh snow in Canada over the next week, with 50cm predicted at mid-mountain level by Friday 26th. Kicking Horse is another good choice if you want fresh snow, with over 20cm expected over the same period.