Published on Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Snow cover remains above average in many resorts, but snow quality is highly variable right now due to strong Foehn winds. As a rule, these Foehn conditions are delivering warm, windy but mostly dry weather (with variable cloud amounts) to the northern side of the Alps. On the southern side (particularly the south-west) the cloud is lower and thicker with some snow in places. The Foehn will die away tomorrow (Thursday).
Here's a country-by-country breakdown of snow conditions, from weathertoski.co.uk
Snow cover is still pretty good for the time of year, but snow quality is more variable due to the Foehn wind. The best weather right now is in the northern Alps, but it is very mild in Kitzbühel (75/165cm) with the best conditions on the upper slopes. Further south, conditions are more consistent in high altitude Obergurgl (105/250cm) but, as in many resorts, the wind is a problem in exposed areas.
Snow cover is still excellent for the time of year, but strong Foehn winds mean that snow quality is highly irregular. Some fresh snow has fallen in Serre Chevalier (70/170cm), but the light is very flat and exposed areas are windswept. Further north, Morzine (45/280cm) offers more shelter, but here warmer temperatures mean softer snow lower down.
Most western Italian resorts have seen a little fresh snow with more expected today. Poor visibility and high winds are currently an issue in Courmayeur (65/180cm), but conditions promise to be excellent once skies clear later in the week. Conditions are more clement further east in Cortina (60/180cm) despite a lot of cloud. Here though only a dusting of new snow is expected.
Strong Foehn winds are affecting much of Switzerland right now including Grindelwald (60/200cm) where mild temperatures have softened the snow on the lower slopes. At least the visibility is better here than in higher altitude Zermatt (50/240cm) where the strong winds are hampering lift operations on the upper half of the mountain.
Rest of Europe
Snow depths remain excellent in the Pyrenees, not least in Cauterets (470/590cm) which continues to boast the highest upper base depths in the world. In Bulgaria, Bansko (100/250cm) is also in good shape, despite no new snow for over a week now. Better off-piste conditions can be found in Sweden's premier resort Åre (62/134cm) where 20cm of snow fell on Monday.
Great conditions continue in Colorado with plenty of new snow in Winter Park (160cm mid-mountain). Conditions are also powdery in Utah where Snowbird has 216cm mid-mountain and in California, where Squaw Valley has 241cm.
Whistler has had huge amounts of new snow on its upper mountain - 120cm in the last week alone where the settled base is 262cm deep. Further inland, conditions are also excellent in Banff (200cm up top) with over 60cm falling in the last 7 days.
Great conditions continue in Colorado with plenty of new snow in in Winter Park (160cm mid-mountain). Conditions are also powdery in Utah where Snowbird has 216cm mid-mountain and in Squaw Valley (CA) which has 241cm.
See Today in the Alps for daily updates.
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