MORE SNOW IN THE ALPS
17th November 2016
The temperature has dropped with some snow falling as the excellent early season conditions in the Alps continue. One area could see well over 1m in the coming days. UPDATED
There was a bit of a lull in the weather last week after all the snow earlier in the month, but it is now changing.
There is mixed weather across the Alps this weekend with snow and rain. In some places it has warmed up and others it has got colder.
But it looks like one part is about to get hammered by snow.
“The most extreme precipitation over the next few days is likely to be between Zermatt/Cervinia and the western Italian lakes, affecting resorts such as Saas-Fee, the Monte Rosa region and Macugnaga. These areas are all likely to see 1m to 1.5 m of snow at altitude this week, with some models predicting 3m or more,” said raser Wilkin from weathertoski.co.uk on Sunday.
He has compiled our full snow report further down this article.
“The rain/snow limit will start at around 1500-1700m but will tend to rise towards 2000m for a time mid-week before falling again later. However, it may remain lower than this under the most intense precipitation,” added Fraser.
We have a report on conditions in Zermatt from one of our readers who is on the slopes on Sunday.
Many more resorts are now opening.
Quick picture update on Saturday:
There are fabulous conditions in the high resorts.
“The snow is the best early Christmas present we could have as Christmas is a very special time for our resort as we welcome many, many families,” said the Director General of the Arc1950 tourist office, Nathalie Guidon, to PlanetSKI.
“It is so very important for everyone to get this amount of snow at altitude in the middle of November and we are already looking forward to our opening on December 10th , and Christmas at Arc1950 looks like it will be rather special,” added Nathalie.
And lower down it is good too.
The image below was taken by PlanetSKI reader, Tim Scott, on the slopes above Les Gets in the Portes du Soleil.
Down at home though it wasn’t quite so good for the chickens
Tim runs the ski school, LGS
It is the best November snowfall in the Alps for decades as we have reported here.
Over in the USA we’re sad to say conditions are the opposite.
It has been the worst November for snow since records began – see here for our story on the US snow drought.
But further North in Canada it is a different story.
Our full and detailed snow report below, that was filed on Thursday 17th November comes from Fraser Wilkin at www.weathertoski.co.uk.
Snow conditions in the Alps remain excellent for mid-November, despite the recent increase in temperature leading to a steady thaw at low altitude.
As we have previously reported, resorts with lots of skiing above 2000m (such as Val Thorens, Val d’Isère, Cervinia, Saas-Fee, Obergurgl and Ischgl – to name just a few) now have a secure snow base for the season.
On the other hand, resorts where most or all of the skiing is below 2000m (such as Morzine and Kitzbühel) will lose much of their natural snow cover over the coming days, and still have lots to play for before the season “proper” kicks off in a month or so time.
The weather in the Alps will be highly variable over the next few days but most areas will see some new snow later tomorrow and over the weekend.
Early next week some particularly heavy snow is likely at altitude in the south-western Alps (e.g. Monte Rosa region) while a strong Foehn brings drier, milder but very windy conditions to the northern side of the Alps. More on this in our detailed weather report for the Alps tomorrow…
There was fresh snow across many of the Austrian glaciers yesterday but lower down it fell as rain, especially in the northern Austrian Alps, where it melted some of the low-lying.
All eight glaciers resorts are open and, weather-permitting, are skiing very well right now. Some of them such as Hintertux (25/105cm) and Sölden (10/130cm) now also have a reasonable amount of non-glacial terrain open.
Non-glacial Obergurgl (10/45cm) also begins its operations today with respectable, rather than exceptional, snow cover for the time of year.
Snow depths remain very impressive across the northern French Alps, particularly at altitude.
The two best offerings in France are Tignes (45/120cm) and Val Thorens (60/130cm), the latter opening on Saturday, a week earlier than originally planned.
There are also a handful of other weekend-only possibilities available, including Alpe d’Huez (55/90cm) and, as of this weekend, La Clusaz (10/80cm).
The deepest snow in Italy is at altitude in the north-western Alps. Indeed, Cervinia (50/190cm) remains the best bet in Italy, with top to bottom snow cover and skiing possible down to resort level as of this weekend.
Other more limited options include Val Senales (10/90cm), Solda (10/60cm) and, at weekends, only Madonna di Campiglio (depths not available).
Snow conditions remain excellent in Switzerland, particularly at altitude and in the west where snow depths are exceptional for mid-November.
Zermatt (20/150cm) and Saas-Fee (40/135cm) are still the best options in Switzerland, though there are plenty more limited possibilities.
Some of these are still only open at weekends, like Verbier (25/125cm) and Crans Montana (60/130cm), while others like Glacier 3000 (0/115cm) are open daily.
Andermatt is another high profile name joining the action this Saturday.
Rest of Europe
A handful of Scandinavian ski resorts are open in a limited capacity, otherwise there is very little skiing possible in Europe outside the Alps right now.
Norway’s Geilo has two lifts operating and an 80cm upper base, while Finland’s Ruka has five lifts running and a 30cm upper base.
Sunshine Village (80cm upper base) is the only area offering any proper lift-served skiing in Canada right now, with decent on-piste snow conditions and 74 open trails.
Skiing options remain very limited in the western US. In California, Mammoth (15/95cm) had six trails open on Wednesday, while Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin (45cm upper base) had just three.
For daily weather bulletins from Fraser then follow it all at www.weathertoski.co.uk.
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.
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