SNOW IN THE ALPS & BEYOND
29th April 2020
Last modified on May 11th, 2020
More than 1m of snow fell parts of the Alps at the weekend. And to rub it in, some of the resorts with fresh snow would have still been open for skiing had it not been for coronavirus.
UPDATED, MAY 4TH
Monday has started bright and clear in the Alps after the fresh snow over the weekend.
Here is Val Thorens in Les3Vallees in France as dawn broke.
With over 1m falling in places we’d normally be writing about the excellent conditions in the handful of resorts still open and how it might set things nicely for the summer glacier skiing.
However the resorts remain closed and there is no accurate information on summer skiing.
Here is Hintertux in the Tirol in Austria.
Normally open at this time of year and one of the best glaciers for summer skiing.
This time last year we were based in Innsbruck in the Tirol and skiing powder into the middle of May.
We ended our season in Stubai:
And it looks pretty good in Stubai today, though sadly the lifts aren’t turning.
SUNDAY MAY 3RD
“The storm is over! 3 day snow totals at 3000m are around 1.3m here in the Val d’Isere Tignes area and 1.5m on the Mont Blanc,” said our friends over at weathertoski.
“This is how the top of the Bellevarde above Val d’Isere is looking this evening.”
SATURDAY MAY 2ND
Today would have been part of the final weekend for the high altitude glacier resorts.
In Tignes it is snowing heavily with 1m predicted by the end of the weekend.
The weather in the Alps remains very unsettled, with serious accumulations of snow expected at altitude across some western parts of the Alps.
“The latest storm began yesterday and will continue until Saturday evening, by which time it may have delivered more than 1m of new snow above 2500m to parts of the French Savoie (e.g. Val d’Isère/Tignes) and the Haute-Savoie (e.g. Chamonix)” said the alpine weather expert, Fraser Wilkin from weathertoski.co.uk on Friday.
“Flooding is also a possibility lower down. While the northern French Alps will see the heaviest precipitation, many other parts of the Alps will also see some rain or snow over the next 48 hours, heaviest in the west, and lighter and patchier further east.”
The storm is battering neighbouring Val d’Isere with 90cm of new snow at 2,500m.
The snow is falling at resort level.
And it is snowing heavily in Italy too.
50cm has fallen so far in Cervinia in the Aosta Valley.
People in many of the ski resorts under lockdown had been enjoying warm sunshine and dry weather for weeks.
For many, it made up for their inability to go out skiing or snowboarding or even to enjoy mountain walks with their daily exercise severely limited.
That has all changed this week with the return of winter.
While most ski areas in Europe would have already closed, some of the high-altitude resorts should have been running their into May.
The linked resorts of Tignes and Val d’Isere in the French Alps would have been open but for the pandemic.
The piste patrol in Val d’Isere posted this of the snow falling on Tuesday afternoon….
At least the snow is good news for the Grande Motte glacier in Tignes.
It is due to open for summer skiing, though it’s not yet clear if or how that will be possible.
Despite a planned easing of the lockdown in France, there will continue to be restrictions on sporting events until September.
By the looks of this image at the Grande Motte, there’s enough snow up there to partially obscure the webcam.
The Italian resort of Cervinia in the Aosta Valley, was also due to be open this week.
And here it is as the snow came down on Tuesday….
Talking of snow there have been the first dustings in New Zealand as winter approaches.
The good news is that the resorts are planning to open for skiing and snowboarding at the end of June as the country has Covid-19 under control with just 19 deaths.
See our full story here on what skiing may look like and how New Zealand has dealt with the pandemic.
Elsewhere in the southern hemisphere, Africa’s mountain resort, Afriski in Lesotho, has had some snow.
It started to fall on Tuesday with another 5 to 10cm overnight into Wednesday.