Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fresh Snow News - Fresh Snow In The Italian Alps (And Almost Everywhere Else)

At long last there has been snow in the Western Alps over the past 48 hours. Although so far only parts of Western Italy and southern France have seen significant falls of up to 30cm, most other areas are beginning to see at least a few centimetres of snow after many weeks with little or no new accumulations.
In Germany the world’s best Alpine Skiers are still fighting for the best ski-run at the World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The most snowfall there in the past week was at Hohenbogen with 20 cm. Oberhof, Winterberg and Willingen each got 5cm of snow in seven days. It is very cold in the flat north of Germany and quite mild in the mountainous south. Germany’s highest mountain by Garmisch has the most snow with 190cm and Oberstdorf has 120cm.
On Monday a few small resorts in Austria got 10cm of fresh snow, including Weinebene and Koralpe, however most big resorts are still waiting for new powder. Ischgl has 110cm of snow on its upper slopes, St. Anton 175cm and Kitzbühel 80cm but the last snowfall is now more than two weeks ago. For the last week Klippitztörl reports the most snowfall with 20cm in seven days, Katschberg, Dachstein and Sölden follow with nearly 15cm each. You can find the best snow depth between 206-260cm in Mölltal, Hintertux, Pitztal and Sölden.
At long last there has been significant snowfall in France in the past 48 hours. For several days the weather forecast predicted a change in the weather and possible snow. All ski resorts hoped so but yesterday (Tuesday 15th February) only a few have so far benefited from the snowfall. In the Southern Alps there was 15 cm in Superdevoluy and Chaillol, 10 cm in Les Orres, Orcières 1850, Risoul, Puy St Vincent, Ancelle, Laye and Val d'Allos. These accumulations kept growing with Montgenèvre leading the pack with 20cm yesterday and a further 10cm so far today – so 30cm/a foot in 36 hours. Today La Clusaz is the first resort in the northern French Alps to report reasonable snowfall of 10cm in the past 24 hours. The French Pyrenees received 10 cm in Peyragudes, Cauterets, La Pierre St Martin and Luz Ardiden on Monday. Overall, the snow remains reasonable at medium altitude (Massif Central) and still very good over 1600m (Southern Alps and the Northern Alps).
It has been a good 24 hours in Italy. Ski areas in the West of the country were among the first in the Alps to receive significant snowfall yesterday, with Bardonecchia issuing the first powder alarm in mainland Europe for many weeks with a 20cm fall. However falls in the Dolomites today have surpassed this total, with Madonna di Campiglio reporting 25cm of snow today and Arabba a remarkable 60cm in 24 hours. Here are all snow depths in Italy.
Only three ski resorts in Switzerland reported snowfall in the last seven days, Andermatt had the most, but still only 5cm. Weather forecasters expect snow by Friday. The very high ski resorts have the best snow conditions, particularly those with glaciers, with Engelberg reporting 295cm, Laax 200cm and Andermatt also 200cm. In higher reaches slopes are still in a good condition except off piste.
There’s been fresh snow across the Pyrenees, in Spain at the end of the weekend the weather began to change at Formigal (picture attached) and in the early hours of Monday morning it started snowing, with an initial 10cm fall and more forecast. It’s a similar story at in Andorra and more snow is expected in the coming days.
Conditions remain excellent in Scandinavia with Norway’s resorts receiving consistent heavy snowfalls while he Alps stayed snow free. At the end of last week the little Norwegian ski area of Jolster reported the most snowfall in the wall for the previous seven days.
In Canada, Whistler has seen big snowfalls in the past week and is currently lying second in the world behind a small resort in neighbouring Alaska for having had the most snow in the past 7 days for any ski area in the world. There’s been fresh snow on the East coast too with Le Massif in Quebec reporting 23cm of new snow and issuing a powder alarm on Monday.
There’s been more snow on both East and west coasts of the USA and it continues to be a great season across the country. Alaska currently leads the ‘most snow in the world in the past week’ table with 1.2m (four feet) at Eaglecrest, but Colorado resorts are only a few inches behind. With this week’s 10 inches (25cm) of fresh show blanketing the slopes of Breckenridge Ski Resort, the mid-season snow totals are already hovering around the 8 meter mark (the traditional total season average) with two of the snowiest months still to come!

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