IT’S SNOWING IN THE ALPS
27th December 2016
Some long awaited flakes are finally falling in Austria. Many other areas across the Alps remain in need but it’s a start and at last there is some hope in the forecast. NEW & UPDATED
It has already begun in places with up to 40cm forecast in some areas.
The areas benefiting most are in the Salzburgerland Province in Austria.
In places snow is falling at low altitude as the temperatures drop.
Here is the picture in Saalbach on Thusday.
The image below shows the ski resort of Zell am See across the lake and in the distance is the glacier resort of Kaprun.
And much appreciated the snow is too – see here for our last full report that painted a disappointing picture for Xmas in many areas of the Alps.
Some of the main resorts in the Alps have not seen snow for 6 weeks.
As always here at PlanetSKI we turn to the alpine weather expert, Fraser Wilkin, for his assessment:
“As expected, it’s snowing quite heavily across some eastern parts of the Austrian Alps this morning, mostly to the east of Salzburg where the rain/snow limit is between 400m and 700m. Elsewhere in the Alps it is mostly dry with plenty of sunshine and much higher freezing levels – as high as 3000m in the west,” said Fraser on Wednesday morning.
“On Thursday the bad weather will clear the easternmost parts of the Alps with all regions expected to enjoy plenty of fine weather up to and including the weekend. On Monday, a weak cold front will then introduce colder air and a little snow to the northern Alps, heralding the start of an important change in the general weather pattern.
It’s still too early to say just how much snow we will see next week, as the fine detail within the various weather models is still constantly changing. However, it will definitely turn much colder and there is the potential for some significant in some parts of the Alps.”
Here at PlanetSKI we will be bringing you further details shortly, but it is a start.
It has been a generally poor December for the fourth year in a row, but there has been some perfectly acceptable piste skiing at altitude.
Below is an image from Siviez next to Verbier taken when PlanetSKI was in the resort last week.
And here is Ischgl in the Tirol in Austria.
There has been little fresh snow, but it has 1,100 snow cannons to fall back on.
And one PlanetSKI reader, Vanessa Fisher, made the most of pre-Xmas conditions in the high-altitude resort of Arc 1950 in France.
See here for more details in her report on PlanetSKI.
And this image of Les Arcs was posted by one of our readers, Rob Rees, who runs the ski school, InsideOut.
“The snow in Zermatt was good, lots of artificial that made it a bit icy, particularly on the run from Riffelberg to Furi. Off piste was windslab and thin. On piste was very good above 2000m but more snow is certainly needed,” said PlanetSKI reader, Adrian Lamb, on his visit to the Swiss resort.
But generally it has not been the White Xmas people wanted.
The best conditions are on the south-western side of the Alps.
Resorts in Italy have done particularly well.
These include Cervinia in the Aosta Valley and Champoluc and Gressoney in the Monte Rosa area.
Resorts in the Milky Way such as Sestriere and Sauze d’Oulx have also had some fresh snow in the past week.
The French resort of Montgenevre, also in the Milky Way ski area, is good.
Elsewhere in France Val d’Isere and Tignes, that are close to the Italian border, have some of the best snow.
The fresh snow of the past 24 hours has helped parts of Austria but much is reliant on man-made snow.
The Ski Welt of Austria, has more than 150 runs open – most thanks to artificial snow.
Back in Italy the Dolomites has seen little snow but it has 1,000 kilometres of pistes open thanks to a huge and efficient snow-making system.
With some snow in the forecast it’s fingers crossed for the New Year and let’s hope winter can finally get started.
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.
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