Thursday, March 10, 2011

Snowfall Slows Everywhere Except Eastern North America

The heavy snow of the last week of February has eased in the first week of March with a few resorts seeing more than a few centimetres of snow in the past week.
The big exception is Eastern North America where resorts in Quebec and in New England have received up to 1.35m of snow in the past week (4.5 feet). At one point Le Massif had received more snow than anywhere else in the world. The snowfall is also continuing in Western North America with resorts adding several more feet to their totals, although this is actually a decline on the amazing falls of previous weeks.
In Europe falls have been more modest, the largest reported in Italy (up to 80cm/nearly three feet over the past week) with the maximum accumulations at most places in the Alps 40-50cm, although in most cases resorts have seen far less. There have been a few more good fall in Scandinavia and the Pyrenees and after three weeks with little new snow it is snowing again today in Scotland with most areas receiving 15cm (six inches) so far and more expected. Meanwhile in the southern hemisphere Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand (picture attached) has reported its first snow covering for 2011.
There was not much snow fall in Austria this week. With 14cm in total, the glacier ski resort of Solden has had the most. Other big resorts had snow fall of around 10 cm during recent days. There was nearly no snow at the weekend but sunshine all over the country. Slopes are still in a good shape and skiers can enjoy the good weather, especially in the upper slopes. Three glaciers have the deepest snow depths in the country, which are Molltal Glacier at 290cm, Pitztaler Glacier at 261cm and Hintertuxer Glacier at 255cm.
After the heavy snowfall in the Alps and Pyrenees last week it has been a quiet week for snowfall across France. The biggest fall recorded was at Bonneval with 50cm, few other areas got more than a few centimetres in the past seven days.
Italy has continued to be one of the snowiest nations in Europe this year with Arabba once again reporting several feet (70cm) of new snow and the Presena glacier still boasting the deepest snow base in central Europe at 4.3m. There were also good snowfalls at the weekend in the Aosta Valley and at Milky way resorts like Sestriere.
Switzerland received new snow in Saas Fee, Brig and Zermatt. Saas fee did the best with 40cm of new snow in the last week which is much more than all the other resorts. Brig reports 15 cm and Zermatt 8 cm. The resorts now can profit from their good snow depth based on the last months. Engelberg has still the deepest snow depth with 340 cm, but 25 cm less than one week ago. Saas Fee, Gstaad, Andermatt and St. Moritz are sure to have good slopes till the end of the season end of April. Skiers and snowboarders should not forget their sunglasses; it will be sunny until Friday with temperatures up to 15 degrees.
The last of the big snowfalls in the Pyrenees were a week ago when ski centres in Andorra and Spain got a foot of snow on March 2nd. Skiers and boarders have been enjoying the snow ever since.
There are still regular powder alarms from Norway, this morning Hovden has had 20cm of freesh snow.
Quebec moved ahead of Canada’s still-very-snowy West Coast in the past week with resorts reporting the most snow in the world during the past week. Le Massif got the most with 135cm.
The storm that every skiers and snowboarders were wishing for in the Quebec City area covered the region including Mont-Sainte-Anne, where 71cm has fallen on the mountain over the past 7 days, including 40cm over the last 48 hours. At Stoneham Mountain Resort, this past week’s total is up to 81cm. Mont Sutton to the south reported 36cm in 24 hours. The snow fell a week after more huge snowfalls in the west with Fernie in British Columbia reporting 81cm in three days to March 3rd.
The epic winter continues on both coasts of the US with resorts in Idaho, California and New York State topping the table for ‘most snowfall in the world for the past week at different points over the past seven days. The tally totalled 135-155cm. On the east Coast Whiteface Mountain received 50cm of snow in 24 hour on its way to topping the greatest-snowfall-in-the-world-in-past-week table today, "We've had an amazing winter and every skier and rider is thankful to Mother Nature for getting us 'stuck' in this awesome weather pattern of snow, snow and more snow! Over 220" this year and counting!", said a statement from the resort. Over on the Western side of the continent, with nearly 30 feet of snow this winter, Steamboat in Colorado has reached another snow milestone, recording a four-wire winter, when the snow stacks up past the fourth row of fence wires. Yampa Valley ranchers have traditionally measured the severity of a Routt County winter by how high the snow stacks up against their four fence wires. "Steamboat is enjoying some of the best snow in the Rocky Mountains and is the only major destination resort in Colorado with a summit base over 100 inches", said Chris Diamond, president & chief operating officer for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation.

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