The largest falls have been at ski resorts located in the Northern Alps but both Southern Alps and Pyrenees also received a lot of snow too.

Over the last seven days, it has dropped, for example, 200cm (in accumulated falls) in the Paradiski resorts of La Plagne and Les Arcs as well as at Praz sur Arly, 145 cm in Val Thorens, 120 cm in Puy Saint Vincent, and 85 cm in Piau Engaly.

The snow is still falling.

145 Skiinfo powder alarms (for 20cm of snow or more in 24 hours) have been triggered in France by Tuesday 20th December, (the highest was on Saturday for Les Arcs with a 100cm snowfall).

"In other words, a smile must be worn in all French ski resorts ..." says Stéphane.

In some cases the snow has been so great that some resorts have been unable to open slopes or lifts for practical reasons or until avalanche danger is checked. But the situation should improve quickly as the snowfalls should gradually give way to sunshine for the Christmas weekend.

"In the meantime, the ski resorts will secure their ski areas and overcome the immense task of grooming in order to provide the best conditions to holiday skiers spending Christmas in the mountains," adds Stéphane.

The deepest snow depths in France at the moment - by region - are in the Paradiski region of Les Arcs (120/305 cm) and La Plagne (140/270 cm) in the Northern Alps; Serre Chevalier (50/180 cm) and Puy Saint Vincent (40/140 cm) in the Southern Alps; Cauterets (70/130 cm) and Piau Engaly (65/120 cm) in the Pyrénées; Les Rousses (60/120 cm) in the Jura and Saint Maurice sur Moselle (35/60 cm) in the Vosges.