After last week's dry conditions, most areas of Europe have received fresh snow in the past few days as temperatures have dropped. There have been no huge snowfalls but many areas have had 5-20cm, halting the thaw and putting a little powder back on the pistes. In North America, where there was heavy snowfall last week, there’s been less new snow in the last few days, but most have had some fresh cover with a few reporting big accumulations of up to 60cm in the last seven days. Elsewhere there’s been new snow in Scotland after a cold, still but largely snowless month.
See our 'where is the snow' pictures: Recent snowfall Gallery
After a 10-day dry and rather warm period, colder, snowier weather has returned to the French Alps and we’ve had increasing snowfall since the weekend adding a powdery covering to the hard-packed pistes. Flaine, which already had one of the deepest bases in the country, reported the biggest accumulation of 25cm, more than half of that in the 24 hours to Monday, but La Plagne, Les Arcs, Chamonix and Avoriaz have all reported 10-20cm of new snow in the past 48 hours. Other French resorts reporting larger snowfalls in the past week include La Grave (30cm), La Rosiere (20cm) and, in the Southern French Alps, 15cm for Serre Chevalier. Typical snow bases are still good across France – usually a metre on lower slopes and 2m on upper slopes.
Temperatures in Austria are dropping down again. The last week was quite mild with only a few centimetres of new snow, but that began to change at the weekend. On Sunday, Kaprun-Kitzsteinhorn reported 20cm of snow and Dachstein Glacier, Kitzbuhel, Molltal Glacier and Nassfeld Hermagor each had 10cm. Snow depths are still very good: Molltal Glacier (360cm), Pitztal Glacier (248cm), Solden (244cm), Zillertal (240cm), Lech Zuers (225cm) and St Anton (220cm).
The snow has returned to Italy, not in vast volumes as yet but freshening up the slopes. The biggest accumulation was reported in the Alps with 20cm at Sauze d’Oulx, half of that last weekend. Other resorts in the region typically reported 5-10cm of new snow including Courmayeur with 10cm. In the Dolomites it was Arabba again that claimed the biggest snowfall at 15cm, much of that at the weekend and it now has one of the deepest bases in Italy at 220cm. However Passo Tonale still has the deepest snow base in the country at 3.5m, it reported another 12cm of snow this week, one of the biggest accumulations in the country.
In Switzerland the most fresh snow in the past week was reported at Champoussin in the Portes du Soleil with 30cm over the past week and 25cm of that yesterday (Tues, 13th) alone. Yesterday, we also saw 20cm fresh snow at neighbouring Morgins. Gstaad and Les Crosets following 10-15cm of snowfall at the weekend. Most Swiss ski resorts have a maximum snow base between 150cm to 220cm, however Engelberg has more than double that and the deepest base in the Alps still at 480cm. The next deepest are Gstaad (460cm); Andermatt (380cm), Loetschental (308cm), Laax (280cm), Saas Fee (257cm) and Verbier (240cm).
A second week with little new snow in the French or Spanish Pyrenees, but Andorran ski areas in the centre have reported some of the biggest falls in Europe this week with 40cm of fresh snow in Pas de la Casa, Grandvalira and healthy falls at the country’s other areas too. Baqueira Beret on the Spanish side only reported 2cm of fresh snow but has extended its season to 5th May due to all the snow already lying (still 410cm deep on upper slopes) and Cauterets on the French side says it has the deepest snow in the world still at 5.9m.
There’s not been much fresh snow in Eastern Europe, with few ski areas in the region reporting any fresh snow since February, however base depths are generally good so this is not a great problem for on-piste skiers. Bansko still has Bulgaria’s deepest base at 210cm but the country’s other ski areas aren’t far behind. Kranjska Gora in Slovenia and Poiana Brasov in Romania both have 80cm base depths.
There’s been little new snow reported in Scandinavia over the past seven days, however conditions on the piste remain good throughout the region. Up in Lapland bases are typically 80-120cm and it remains a similar picture in Norway with Geilo, for example, on 90cm and nearby Hemsedal 120cm, the exception remaining Voss with 180cm. The snow (although light) is back in Are, Sweden, however, which got 4cm on Monday and has a 122cm base.
After almost a month of low temperatures, top-to-bottom snow cover and blue skies, fresh snow has been falling to freshen up the pistes in Scotland, with ski centres in the eastern Highlands – Cairngorm, Glenshee and The Lecht particularly blessed. It’s not all been great news as the access road to The Lecht was closed on Monday morning due to snow and the gondola to Nevis Range was closed due to strong winds at the weekend, but all in all, things are good.
Canada topped the world snowfall tables last week with Whistler receiving nearly a metre of new snow in seven days. The rate of snowfall has slowed, but there’s still been some good accumulations with Revelstoke reporting another 12cm on Monday and Fernie adding 15cm during the week and maintaining its claim to the country’s deepest snow base (for a major resort) with 262cm. Banff, Lake Louise, and Kimberley also all reported 10-15cm of fresh snow, but there’s been little or no new snow in eastern Canada, although bases of 100-150cm remain perfectly adequate for piste skiing.
Not quite as snowy in the US this past week as the preceding one but still some good accumulations, most notably in California where Heavenly added 40cm at the weekend; in Wyoming where Jackson Hole has had another 45cm; and in Colorado where Breckenridge got another 15cm of snow. Snow depths remain at their best the further west you go with the two major resorts boasting more than 4m base depths: Mammoth in California (490cm) and Alyeska in Alaska (445cm). Little or no new snow has been reported on the East Coast in the past week with just a few centimetres more at Mount Snow and Sunday River. Bases are in the 100-150cm bracket at ski areas in New England.
The week ahead
Conditions look to be remaining unsettled on both sides of the Atlantic for the coming week. More new snowfalls are expected across the Alps over the next few days, but the sun will be back in Austria in time for the weekend. In Switzerland more new snow is expected for Thursday and Friday and ski conditions are very good on the slopes.
See our 'where is the snow' pictures: Recent snowfall Gallery
Our next "Where is the snow in Europe and North America?" snow report will be published Wednesday, March. 20, 2013.