It's all change from the southern hemisphere ‘norm' of deep powder expected in New Zealand and south Americas as ski areas in Argentina, Chile and NZ are in contrast struggling to open with the best bases still below 50cm in all three countries. In New Zealand's case this follows the warmest ever may and a warm June, although the picture is now improving. Catedral, the leading resort is South America, has had the added complication of an erupting volcano nearby.
"It's official - this season is shaping up to be one of the best in decades with the snow depth officially reaching 158.9cm today (as measured by Snowy Hydro Limited at Spencer's Creek). Not since 1990 have we seen such a snow depth at this time of the year." Says a statement from Perisher in Australia.
"Skiers and snowboarders are enjoying amazing conditions in Perisher at the moment with plenty of deep drifts to be found across the four resort areas. This weekend will see all 47 lifts open at Perisher accessing four resort areas. That's 1245 hectares of terrain to explore!"
The huge snowfalls are great news for Australia's ski areas coming at the start of the winter. They're also the latest of two months of serious wintery weather which allowed resorts to open for a rare weekend in May and to have good season openings in early June.
Australian ski areas can also claim the deepest fresh snow bases in the world at present. Although accumulations at still-open northern hemisphere resorts in the European Alps, Norway, Canada and the US are deeper, there's been little or no fresh snow in Europe or north America for several months.