Wintry Weather In The Alps

It’s cold and unsettled in the Alps for the first week of the New Year with more snow for some. We take a look at how it’s shaping up and cast a glance further afield to Japan where winter has hit with a vengeance. UPDATED

It looks as if 2021 is starting pretty much where 2020 left off, with cold and wintry weather.

We reported on the situation in the Alps and beyond in our earlier article:

It’s not unusual for January, of course, but some places have had huge dumps of snow that are exceptional for this early in the season.

The region of Carinthia in Austria has done particularly well.

Nassfeld is reporting a staggering 3.5 metres of snow at 2,200m and 2 metres in the valley.

“Since Saturday evening around 25 to 30cm of fresh snow has fallen, with extensive snowdrifts reported at high altitude,” the resort said on Monday.

“Even if the fresh snow is tempting for freeriders, it should be noted that the avalanche warning level 4 currently prevails and there is therefore a great danger in open terrain!”

Ein traumhafter Skitag mit Unmengen von Neuschnee steht uns heute am Nassfeld bevor. Solltet ihr heute nicht auf den Berg kommen, genießt den LIVE-Ausblick von der Tressdorfer Höhe. ⚠ Auch wenn der Neuschnee für Freerider verlockend ist, gilt es zu beachten, dass derzeit die Lawinenwarnstufe-4 vorherrscht und daher eine große Gefahr im freien Gelände besteht!

Posted by Nassfeld on Monday, 4 January 2021

It’s this area of the southern Austrian Alps that has had the most snowfall recently.

Snow depths are also said to be exceptional for the time of year in the Dolomites in Italy.

Val Gardena shared its news with a few words and a video, posted on Monday morning.

“What a day! The sun is shining, the snow has fallen and the mountains are looking fantastic covered in snow! Welcome to Winterwonderland! 🤩❄️

Beautiful day on Seceda

Beautiful day on Seceda!😍What a day! The sun is shining, the snow has fallen and the mountains are looking fantastic covered in snow! Welcome to Winterwonderland!🤩❄️

Posted by Val Gardena Gröden on Monday, 4 January 2021

“The weather in the Alps remains cold and unsettled, with further snow falling in places,”  says Fraser Wilkin of the website Weather To Ski.

“Most of today’s snow will fall in the western Italian Alps (Piedmont) and the southern French Alps, close to the Italian border (eg Isola 2000).

“Some snow will also spill over the border into the south-eastern Savoie (eg Val d’Isère, Val Cenis), but it will be mostly dry elsewhere in the Alps, with the sunniest skies the further north and east you are.”

Fraser Wilkin reports that snow depths in the northern Swiss Alps and the northern Austrian Alps are near ‘normal’ or even below average for the time of year, though the snowline is low.

In France the ski lifts have been closed since the start of the season, thanks to Covid-19.

It hasn’t stopped people in Val d’Isere getting out and enjoying the good snow conditions.

The team at Radio-TV Val d’Isere have put together this film that’s well worth a look:

Retour sur ce début d'hiver si particulier…..Bonne semaine à tous #radiovaldisère

Posted by Pisteurs Secouristes de Val d'Isère on Sunday, 3 January 2021


Meanwhile, some 5,000 miles to the east, there has been some epic early season snow in Japan.

“The snow just keeps on falling. Another 15cms overnight up top,” Hakuba said early on Monday morning.

Nozawa Onsen is reporting a base of more than 2.5 metres at the top though there’s been a bit of a lull following heavy snowfall.

Today (Monday 4th), just 7cm of light snow fell and it was largely sunny.

And if you want to witness just how incredible the powder skiing is in Japan right now, have a look at this video by @toshi_pander, posted by the resort at the end of December:

Resort Powder!

Just a taste of how epic the resort has been during December via @toshi_pander. ❄️❄️❄️ Wishing everyone a safe and happy new year! #nisekounited

Posted by Niseko United on Wednesday, 30 December 2020

It’s a shame that most of us can’t get out to the mountains right now but here at PlanetSKI we don’t think that’s a good enough reason to ignore the good snow news.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the mountains are going nowhere….