If this all happens as predicted it should, once the extreme weather has moved on, transform the ski areas in California that have been suffering since early December from warm weather and little or no natural snow.

Conditions have already picked up in the major ski states of Utah and particularly Colorado which issued powder alarms for over 8 inches (20cm) of fresh snow and in some cases as much as a foot (30cm) in 24 hours over Monday/Tuesday this week. Beneficiaries included Vail and Beaver Creek.

The snow has been good all season in some parts of the US and Alaska, Washington State and Wyoming in the North West of the country have also been reporting more heavy snow as they have for most of the winter. Eaglecrest in Alaska has the country's deepest snow at 376cm (12.5 feet) while Mt Baker in Washington State, the famed snowiest-resort-in-the-world is not far behind with 368cm.

Conditions have picked up a great deal in recent weeks on the East Coast too, although snowfall there at the end of last week has now eased, many resorts, particularly in Vermont, benefitted from several feet of snow.