Equally important they've enabled the country's huge snowmaking arsenal to work at full tilt. Temperatures are ideal (almost always negative at any time of day) to ensure the grip of this sub-layer of snow that will preserve good snow conditions throughout the season.
Currently only Tignes (open since September) and Val Thorens (which opened at the weekend) share the first skiers of the season with snow cover of 60 and 75cm respectively and nine trails open on each.
It has snowed continuously at these two resorts over the past few days (15 cm during the past 72 hours and 20cm more expected over the next few days).
This weekend the season really gets moving however with a dozen more French resorts planning to open in the Alps and Pyrenees including Val d'Isere, Les 2 Alpes, Cauterets, Barèges / La Mongie, Gourette, Luz Ardiden and Piau Engaly).