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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 08 February 2016

Summary

With half-term fast approaching things are looking very good in the Alps, with fresh snow falling at almost all of our featured resorts. The great news is that heavy snow has fallen in the southern Alps, with parts of Italy, southern France and southern Switzerland reporting as much as 45cm of new snow on Monday morning. This goes with the heavy snow recorded in the northern Alps at the end of last week – so there has been a marked improvement across the board since our last report on Thursday 4th February. Loads more snow is forecast, with 50-100cm likely almost anywhere by Wednesday, before further spells of heavy snow arrive on Thursday and Friday to potentially drop similar amounts. Expect some fantastic powder skiing but please keep an eye out on the latest avalanche reports as the danger level is likely to rise.

The Pyrenees have missed out on the latest snowfall, however good skiing remains on offer at all resorts in Andorra, France and Spain. The weather looks set to turn this week and some good falls of snow are forecast which is great news.

Fresh snow has also freshened the pistes across Eastern Europe, where some decent skiing was to be found on Monday 8th February. A little more fresh snow is forecast before the main holiday week which will help keep the pistes nice and fresh.

Scandinavia continues to offer some good skiing, boosted over the weekend by some good falls of fresh snow. 20cm or more was picked up at the resorts of Are, Hemsedal and Voss so these three resorts were the place to be on Monday. A gloriously sunny and cold week is forecast for most.

Conditions continue to improve across Scotland following some heavy falls of snow over the weekend, resulting in all five areas being able to offer snowsports to start the new week. Glencoe was the offering the pick of these conditions on Monday following 15cm of new snow, but all of our featured resorts have made good gains in recent days. The forecast looks extremely positive too, with bitterly cold temperatures all week and fresh snow possible each day.

Some excellent skiing remains on offer in the west of both the USA and Canada, with most lifts open and some fantastic piste conditions being reported across the board. The off piste has become tracked out, but there were still some powder stashes to be found on Monday in places. A gloriously sunny week is forecast so be sure to pack your sunglasses and a good deal of suncream.

Conditions continue to improve on the east coast, with fresh snow forecast to fall for much of the week ahead. There is still a lot of terrain still to open, but hopefully with the fresh snow and some bitterly cold temperatures forecast more will be able to open up soon.

Austria

The weather was variable across much of Austria on Monday 8th February, with a mixture of rain, snow and sunshine affecting many resorts.  Many regions have seen a light dusting of fresh snow over the course of the weekend, with around 5-10cm to be found across the majority of our featured resorts.

Good skiing is currently available across many resorts in the Arlberg region. Lech (130/175cm) and Zurs (130/175cm) have seen further improvements after 10cm of fresh snow fell during the early hours of Monday morning. Building upon the good snowfall of the previous week, this should ensure that fresh turns can be found both on and off the piste.

In the east, good conditions still prevail due to the good snowfall of the previous week. A light dusting of snow across resorts in the Ski Amade region has ensured that pistes remain in good condition, with pockets of fresh powder to be found on the upper mountain.

The unsettled weather of Monday looks likely to be the theme for the rest of the week, with a mixture of sun, cloud and snow affecting almost all of our featured resorts over the coming days. Resorts in the Arlberg regions will see the heaviest of the impending snowfall, with upwards of 50cm likely to fall before the weekend.  Elsewhere, we can expect to see more moderate totals of around 15-20cm of fresh snowfall, with the heaviest of the snow likely to fall throughout Wednesday. Temperatures will fall dramatically over the coming days, with lows of around -10C currently being reported for the middle of the week.

France

The skiing conditions across the French resorts were generally very good on Monday 8th February and all of the resorts we feature in France, except Font Romeu (35cm), report fresh snowfall in February. The majority of resorts received snowfall over the weekend too, adding to the snow that fell last week. Monday brought a mixture of sun and cloud, with a chance of further snowfall in the evening.

The stand-out resort on Monday for snowfall was Serre Chevalier (25/130cm), which reported 50cm of new snow landing on the upper slopes on Sunday 7th February.

Chamonix (30/360cm) is still at the top of the chart in France for base depth, with over three metres of snow on the upper mountain, but this is on the Aiguille du Midi, which is not a typical skiing area. Morillon (10/245cm) and Flaine (10/245cm) in the Grand Massif ski area sit in joint second place with just under two and half metres of snow measured on their upper ski slopes.

Cloudy weather is forecast to dominate for most of this week and into next week, with further fresh snowfall expected at all of our featured French skiing locations. Again the Chamonix valley is set to get a lot of new snow, although La Grave (60/100cm) is close to the top of the table too. At La Grave, over two and a half metres of new snow forecast at mid-mountain level by the end of Tuesday 16th February, with the heaviest snow landing over next weekend.   

Switzerland

Every Swiss resort was reporting fresh snow on Monday morning, with the heaviest falls being reported in the south and the east of the country. The sun was out briefly to start the new week, but it rapidly clouded over and by the afternoon snow was falling once again.

The pick of the conditions on Monday could be found at the resorts of Pontresina (51/90cm) and St Moritz (60/91cm) in the Engadin region in the far southeast of the country. Both were reporting around 30cm of much needed fresh snow and the good news is that a lot more is in the forecast.

Saas Fee (88/250cm) and Zermatt (30/200cm) were reporting similar values, resulting in some fantastic skiing conditions amongst the fresh powder. Sadly high winds limited the lift operations on the highest slopes, with all the lifts linking Zermatt to Italy closed on Monday. High winds were also an issue at Gstaad (31/255cm), Murren (80/210cm) and Wengen (20/90cm) where all of the upper areas were on wind hold.

The next spell of heavy snow is set to move in during Monday night from the west. As a result resorts such as Nendaz (45/200cm) and Verbier (20/200cm) and Grimentz/Zinal (60/184cm) are in the firing line to receive the most snow. By the time the snow lets up on Wednesday, between 50 and 100cm of snow is possible across the country, with the upper end of this band likely at the aforementioned resorts in the west.

Italy

Fresh snow was recorded at every one of our featured resorts in the country for the first time this season. As much as 45cm was picked up in places on Sunday, but everywhere saw more than 10cm. The sun was shining in places on Monday morning, but further snow is set to arrive overnight and into Tuesday.

The snowiest spots were Cervinia (65/240cm) which picked up 45cm, Madonna (40/120cm) where 40cm fell and Passo Tonale (50/100cm) which also saw 40cm of new snow on the upper slopes. Conditions as a result were drastically improved following the poor start to the season.

Livigno (33/75cm) and Arabba (26/48cm) also fared very well, seeing 30cm and 28cm respectively. With all lifts running at both resorts there was a large variety of pistes on offer, with even some off-piste available in places.
Even in the Milky Way, where conditions have been significantly below par this season, 20cm of fresh snow was recorded. This enabled 56 lifts across the area to open up, although only 81km of pistes from a possible 320km were open on Monday. The best conditions were to be found in the French sector by Montgenevre, but if you’re staying on the Italian side, the high altitude Sestriere (30/40cm) was the place to be.

The great news is that further spells of heavy snowfall are forecast for the coming week. It is due to set in during Monday night and not stop until Wednesday, by which time 50-100cm is possible – with the heaviest falls for the Aosta Valley and resorts such as Courmayeur, La Thuile and Cervinia.

Andorra

It was a predominately sunny start to the week across much of Andorra, with only the occasional cloudy spell on Monday 8th February. Improving conditions are prevalent across many of our featured resorts after 5-10cm of fresh snow fell over the course of Sunday. Soldeu (35/60cm) saw the best of the current snowfall, with 10cm dramatically improving the conditions both on and off the piste. The best skiing can currently be found on the well-groomed runs of the upper mountain, with resorts runs becoming soft due to temperatures of around +6C on the lower mountain.

Conditions across all resorts are set to see further improvement, with light snow forecast to fall over the entire week ahead. Around 20-25 cm of fresh snow is expected to fall across all resorts before the weekend. Temperatures will fall over the coming days, with lows of around -4C on Wednesday.

Norway/Sweden

There was also fresh snow to report on from across Norway, with all our featured resorts seeing some new snow overnight into Monday 8th February. Light snow was still falling on Monday, leading to some poor visibility but some decent fresh tracks.

The heaviest snow was picked up as Voss (65/170cm) where 29cm fell over the weekend to result in a great powder day on Monday. Hemsedal (82/82cm) was not far behind following 20cm of powder and with 19/20 lifts and 48/49 slopes in operation there was some great variety to be had to start the week.

A mostly sunny week is forecast, with steadily falling temperatures expected. Oppdal (40/50cm) looks set to buck the trend however, with snow forecast every day – bringing the potential for 50cm of powder at this resort.

Some excellent skiing was also available across Sweden, particularly at the resort of Are (79/79cm) where 20cm fell over the weekend. Snow was falling on Monday at Salen (37/37cm) which was great news, with as much as 10cm possible by the end of the day if the forecasts hold true.

Settled and sunny weather is forecast here for the rest of the week, accompanied by steadily falling temperatures that may dip below -10C by Friday.

Germany

Precipitation was affecting many resorts across Germany on Monday 8th February, with fluctuating temperatures seeing this fall as rain in some resorts and snow in others.
Berchtesgaden (5/45cm) and Lenggries (10/55cm) were suffering in the rain on Monday, with slopes across the mountain becoming heavy and wet, making for difficult skiing conditions in both resorts. Equally challenging conditions were present in Feldberg on Monday with winds of around 100mph battering the upper mountain.   The best conditions can currently be found in Garmisch (100/270cm) where pistes remain excellent across the upper mountain as a result of some light snowfall over the weekend. 

The weather outlook is looking positive for the week ahead, with fresh snow expected to fall across all our featured resorts. Wednesday will see the heaviest of the snowfall, with around 15-25cm expected to fall throughout the day. Feldberg and Garmisch will see light snow fall for the duration of the week, with a mixture of sun, cloud and snow effecting resorts elsewhere.

Bulgaria

It was a predominately cloudy start to the week for the majority of resorts across Bulgaria on Monday 8th February. Conditions across many resorts remain unchanged, with no new snowfall over the weekend. Good skiing is still available, however, with the best conditions being found on the well-groomed pistes of the upper mountain, with resort runs hard-packed as a result of the thaw and freeze of the previous week.

The cloud affecting many resorts on Monday will lift over the course of the day, with a sunny Tuesday forecast across all of our featured resorts. Light snow will begin to fall from the middle of the week, with Bansko (65/100cm) likely to see around 5-10cm of fresh snow on Wednesday. Temperatures will hover just above freezing for the majority of the week, before dropping considerably over the course of Thursday.

Scotland

The new week started in Scotland with improved snow and promising conditions. The weekend provided a mixture of rain and snow at higher levels leaving some great snow for guests on Monday. Arguably the west has benefited from this the most with upwards of 10cm of new snow at Nevis Range (25/45cm) and Glencoe (25/55cm, with the latter reporting some lovely fresh snow on the Main Basin, Happy Valley and Spring Run.

Glenshee (5/25cm), Cairngorm (25/35cm) and The Lecht (12/24cm) didn’t receive the quantity of snow the west experienced. However, Monday provided some fantastic weather with bluebird conditions reported at Glenshee and Cairngorm who had 5/22 and 6/11 lifts turning respectively.  The Lecht was somewhat overcast on Monday with snow showers refreshing some of the icy areas of the slopes.

As one becomes accustomed to, the weather outlook for Scotland this week looks like a mixed bag; albeit a positive one. Temperatures are set to remain low for the time being and hover around freezing for the week.  Up to 5cm of fresh snow is forecast across the ski centers on Tuesday and Wednesday, thereafter there should be some sunny spells and the opportunity to get some nice skiing in.

USA

It was a lovely day to be out in the Rocky Mountains, with the sun shining at all of our featured resorts in Utah and Colorado. Temperatures were hovering just below freezing but a slow warming trend should nudge temperatures above zero by the middle of the week. Expect some slightly softer pistes as a result, especially at resorts in Utah such as Park City (137cm) and Deer Valley (178cm). Therefore the high Colorado resorts such as Breckenridge (140cm) are likely to offer the best on piste conditions later in the week.

The sun was also out in California, although temperatures here were a touch warmer. Daytime highs may hit +10C at resorts such as Heavenly (210cm) during the week, but thanks to the numerous snowstorms in January the base depths will certainly hold firm. Expect an early taste of spring on the slopes, with the morning’s firmly packed pistes likely to soften through the morning.

It was much cloudier on the East Coast and temperatures were sitting well below freezing. As a result the pistes remain hard-packed and there has been little change in the available pistes due to the lack of natural snowfall. As bitterly cold week is forecast however, accompanied by up to 20cm of fresh snow, with the heaviest snow likely for Sunday River (61cm).

Canada

It was a predominately sunny day across much of Canada on Monday 8th February. Light snow fell over the weekend which has seen improving conditions across many resorts.

Good skiing is available throughout much of Alberta thanks to recent snowfalls. Resorts across Banff have seen around 10cm of snow over the course of the weekend which has seen improving conditions both on and off the piste. Sunshine looks likely to dominate the weather forecast over the coming week, providing the perfect conditions to enjoy the new snow. Temperatures will remain comparatively mild for the time of year during the early part of the week, at around +3C, before dropping closer to freezing by the end of the week.

British Columbia is still reporting good conditions across many resorts, thanks to some good cumulative snowfall over the past week. Revelstoke (224cm) has seen the best of the recent snowfall after 41cm fell over the course of the week. Piste conditions throughout the region are excellent, with pockets of fresh powder to be found on the upper mountain for those willing to go looking for it. The good weather of Monday will continue into Wednesday, before a largely cloudy end to the week. Mild temperatures could affect select resorts in the region, with rain showers possible at the back end of the week as a result.

Resorts on the east coast saw some light snowfall over the course of the past week which has done much to ensure that pistes remain in good condition. More snow is in the forecast so expect conditions to only further improve over the coming week. The resorts of Mont Sainte Anne (30/157cm) and Tremblant (60cm) should see around 10cm of snow before the end of the week. Temperatures will remain bitterly cold, with lows of around -21C by the end of the week

European Weather Outlook

Fresh snow dominates the forecast for the Alps this week, with all areas set to see some spells of heavy snow. New snow is possible almost every day. By the end of the week up to 200cm is possible in parts of the northwest Alps, in excess of 100cm could fall in Switzerland, northern Italy and western Austria and more than 50cm is forecast for the southern French Alps and eastern Austria. Sunshine will be at a premium all week so make the most of any bright spells!

The Pyrenees should also see some fresh snow, with 20-40cm possible by the end of the week. Temperatures may fluctuate somewhat, with colder days (around -5C at mid-mountain level) set for Wednesday and Thursday.

Snow is also forecast for Eastern Europe throughout the week, although as with the Pyrenees totals are likely to be more modest than the Alps. Expect around 50cm in Slovenian and Slovakia, but around 20cm in Bulgaria.

A mostly sunny week is forecast for Scandinavia, accompanied by steadily falling temperatures. Oppdal in Norway will provide a notable exception – as up to 50cm is forecast to fall between Monday and Thursday.

The forecast is looking excellent for Scotland, with fresh snow and cold temperatures expected all week. The Lecht is likely to catch the most snow showers as the wind swings round to the north, but all areas could see some new snow.

North American Weather Outlook

Western Canada looks set to continue with settled and mostly dry weather throughout much of the week. Sunshine is possible every day, although a few clouds may drift through at times. Temperatures look set to hover at just above freezing at mid-mountain level during the day, before dropping back overnight.

The west of the USA looks if anything even sunnier, with blazing sunshine expected all week. This is likely to be accompanied by slowly rising temperatures, hitting around +4C at mid-mountain in Utah and +1C in Colorado by Wednesday. California is looking likely to be even warmer, soaring to as high as +8C by day – resulting in spring conditions on and off piste.

In stark contrast the East Coast of the USA and Canada is likely to see the coldest week of the season so far, combined with some fresh snowfall. Up to 20cm of new snow is possible by the weekend as temperatures fall away significantly. From daytime highs of -4C on Wednesday, the temperature looks set to plunge to as low as -30C – so be sure to take a lot of layers if you’re heading out there for half-term.
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