The storm we have been waiting for arrived over much of Austria this past weekend, and continued to provide both substantial fresh snowfall, as well as chaotic weather, high winds and limited visibility over many ski areas.
Although a small number of resorts began operations this past weekend, while others intended to expand their terrain on offer, this was curtailed in many locations due to the extreme weather, with several resorts severely impacted by high winds. Due to the extreme weather, a number of the glacial resorts were completely closed on Monday 10th December, including Kaprun, Kaunertal, Stubai, and Pitztal. Others operated only a small number of their possible lifts, including Hintertux (0/120cm)
The storm did at least provide large quantities of fresh snow across the majority of ski areas, delivering good quantities of fresh coverage, much needed across resorts that have otherwise been lacking in coverage. Some of the most substantial accumulations include 45cm in the Arlberg, 60cm in Silvretta Montafon (5/80cm), 50cm overnight in Solden (15/267cm), and 40cm in Obergurgl, giving more than 2m on upper slopes – the first among the non-glacial resorts in the country. However, with accompanying winds, there was limited off piste opportunities; while limited visibility reduced the options for enjoyable skiing across the mountain.
The current forecasts currently show the existing storm front moving further east across Austria over the coming days, before a new storm arrives next weekend. The exact trajectory is hard to determine, but may well bring more chaotic conditions to the northern Alps.