Phildelphia Shot 2019-01-03 at 22_03_46.png

Published on Friday, January 4, 2019

See where the snow is best this week

While Austria and Germany in the Northern Alps are set for their best conditions so far this season, there's no sign of fresh snow on the French and Italian side. Here's the latest snow report from the Ski Club of Great Britain.

The North Eastern Alps, in particular across Austria and Germany are in line for some exceptionally heavy snowfall, likely the most substantial of the season so far, with upwards of 2m possible in isolated locations and at high altitudes. Do expect this to be accompanied by lift and resort closures as pisteurs work to keep the resorts safe and operational. Forever, for those who are able to visit, expect some of the best conditions so far this season without a doubt. Unfortunately, this snowfall is unlikely to spread beyond this, with little on the horizon for at least the next week, if not longer.

Fresh snow is falling across much of British Columbia, and more widely in the Pacific North West. Heading further south, this coming weekend is looking to see fantastic skiing across the Sierras, including resorts around Lake Tahoe and Mammoth. Further inland, there is unlikely to be much change in the majority of Utah or Colorado based resorts.

Based on current weather forecasts for the next 9 days, the top three resorts for expected snowfall are:

Whistler, Canada, 255cm
Reit im Winkl, Germany, 236cm
Waidring, Austria, 228cm (pictured above)

Following from a less favourable end of 2018, conditions across Austria are in the process of being taken up several notches, with Thursday marking the beginning of an extremely snow filled four or five days. This will fall across almost the entirety of the skiing region, though most heavily the further east you go, including resorts across Styria and Salzburg. Saying this, there will undoubtedly be enjoyable conditions wherever you head. Expect overnight accumulations of up to 40/50cm locally, and in some instances resulting in too much new snow to easy ski, especially away from the pistes.

It is also very likely high winds, and this level of snowfall will result in disrupted resort openings as the slopes are made safe each morning. Over the weekend, it is likely to be warmer on Friday and Saturday, before the temperatures drop once again heading into the week. In instances such as this where so much snow is expected, some of the best opportunities are likely to be found among the lower altitude resorts and areas, where trees shelter the snowfall from the wind.

Conditions in France left a lot to be desired in the first week of 2019, with no fresh snow since Christmas day, if not further back. As far as the December 19/20 in many instances. This has resulted in very hard packed, icy slopes and no off piste to speak of at all. With conditions such as these, it's worth making sure you are skiing on suitably prepped skis that can handle icy conditions.

The current forecasts show near sun consistently through to at least Monday, although most likely longer until Wednesday before there is any real possibility of changing conditions. In the meantime, be prepared to either be tackling some very solid slopes, or look elsewhere in the Alps.

In contrast to the Northeast of the Alps, much of Switzerland, excluding the most easterly resorts saw clear skies yesterday. There have been instances of new snow falling across the country in the last two days, including 25cm in Engelberg and similar quantities in the Jungfrau region, while the Flims Laax area saw as much as 30cm overnight.

For those resorts in the West of the country, there is little chance of any further fresh snow over the next few days. However, as you head further east, there becomes an increasing likelihood of heavier snowfall thanks to the storm front centred above Austria. Therefore, resorts such as Arosa, St Moritz, and Lenzerheide are likely to see dramatically differing conditions to Zermatt, Gstaad, or the four valleys.

In line with this, expect colder, windier conditions in the east over the coming days. Looking further afield, expect temperatures to drop across the board heading into the next week.

Unfortunately it has been another fairly snowless week across the Italian resorts with only one significant snowfall being recorded in Speikboden, near the Austrian border, with 35cm of fresh snow falling, with all the lifts operating and runs open. However thanks to the earlier snowfall in the season and the great work of the snow cannons, larger ski areas throughout Italy have nearly all runs open now. For people in resort, it has been another week of blue skies and frosty winter mornings with the temperature staying just low enough to provide well-groomed, hard packed piste runs, but unfortunately the off piste is still slim to none in most areas.

San Domenico di Vazo in the Piemento region still has the deepest reported snow depth being at 340cm in the upper piste areas. Although the weekend ahead has mostly sun forecast, there is a small amount of snow due to fall early next week, with Val Senales forecast up to 30cm in the coming week. However, any resorts in the Western area will unfortunately continue to see very icy pistes and cold temperatures with little to snow forecast once again. ~

Resorts in Andorra are now approaching three weeks lacking fresh snowfall, and while artificial coverage has kept the trails in reasonable shape, there is no real off piste opportunities to speak of, with much of the mountain still uncovered by snow as your get further away from the pisted areas. One redeeming feature of this lack of snow is at least clear skies and bright days, though this has also drawn the crowds, with Pas de la Casa in particular seeing some very busy slopes. There is no snow on the immediate forecast, however slightly further afield there may be a light dusting falling in the middle of the following week.

There is little good news in Finland, where our three featured ski areas continued to be plagued by a lack of natural snowfall. The low light and short days, coupled with these conditions are not especially conducive to great skiing. On Thursday both our Swedish resorts saw light snowfall, although again the base depths are slightly lagging behind previous seasons. In addition, both resorts were experiencing high winds, potentially impacting lift operations. '¨
There was also minimal fresh snow in Norway, coupled with unseasonably mild temperatures sitting above freezing almost across the country. The exception is Oppdal, where a storm delivered 15cm overnight, accompanied by high winds disrupting operations. Geilo and Hemsedel were potentially expecting light snowfall on Thursday, with forecasts showing the likelihood of more falling on Monday. Excluding this however, the coming days look to be predominantly bright and clear.

Our featured resorts in Germany are in line to benefit from the heavy snowfall expected over the coming days, falling most heavily on Thursday and likely to deliver as much as a metre of fresh coverage, potentially even more in isolated locations. This will be a welcome improvement for several resorts who currently are only reporting a minimal base, as low as 30cm in some places. In higher altitude resorts, such as Garmisch, the conditions are looking substantially better, with the cloud already moving in, and the snowfall already beginning to fall. Expect limited visibility over the coming days and the potential for curtailed resort openings due to high winds.

Thursdaysaw heavy snowfall and borderline blizzard conditions in Czech Republic, with very inhospitable conditions judging from the webcams. Conditions were similar in Jasna in Slovakia, while further East, Sochi-Rosa Khutor also saw snowfall, though under somewhat calmer and warmer conditions, with the upper mountain in particular looking in great shape.

All three of our featured resorts similarly saw fresh snowfall, although it was a fair bit colder with temperatures sitting around -10C. Current forecasts show these favourable conditions continuing for much of the coming days, at least until the middle of next week. It looks as though the snow has drawn the crowds, as all three of the ski areas looked especially crowded.

There is currently no skiing available in Scotland.

2019 began with very mild days across much of the USA, staying above freezing in many resorts, likely resulting in rain at resorts level where there is any precipitation at all. Much of the central states are unlikely to see any precipitation until Sunday/Monday at the latest, at which point the temperatures are likely to drop once again.

The real news is expected to come from California, with moderate to heavy snowfall in the Sierras, benefitting resorts including Squaw, Mammoth, Kirkwood and other areas around Lake Tahoe. These resorts are currently sitting somewhat below their average seasonal levels, though this should go some way to improve this. Expect Saturday to be extremely stormy, with great powder to be enjoyed on Sunday in particular, and returning further into next week if forecasts hold true.

Resorts in New England have seen light to moderate snowfall, ranging from a dusting of 5cm up to a more substantial accumulation of 15cm in Sunday River. This has been more than enough to freshen up the slopes, with many resorts seeing continual cloud cover through Thursday and light flurries intermittently during the day. At the very least, it's prevented the notoriously icy slopes that some East Coast resorts are known for.

Whistler was once again delivering the goods for the start of the year, with 42cm overnight falling on the upper slopes, resulting in buckets of deep, fresh powder to ski. However, lift and access was limited due to high winds. It's a similar story across the province, with other numbers including 28cm in Revelstoke, 22cm overnight in Kicking Horse and 13cm in Fernie, for those who want to avoid the Vancouver crowds likely to flock to Whistler this weekend. The current forecasts show little change in current conditions over the coming days, with Tuesday the 8th in particular likely to see another very snowy day in Whistler and elsewhere.

Powder conditions returned to Banff, with plenty of fresh snow in Sunshine village, allowing for some great powder skiing in the extreme Delirium Drive area; while even larger amounts fell in the Back Bowls of Lake Louise, thanks to half a metre since the start of 2019 and plenty more expected. Despite this, temperatures sitting between -5C to -10C are in a great range to preserve the snow without being too bitterly cold. Although Marmot Basin saw slightly more moderate amounts, 35cm in the past 5 days, with more than 1m on the upper slopes is plenty to keep the terrain is good condition, with the whole mountain open other than the Eagle Ridge expert bowls.

Quebec has also been enjoying fresh snowfall, with 36cm over the past week in Tremblant, while Mont Sainte Anne fared even better, with 21cm overnight, followed by bright, clear, but very cool days indeed - as high as -20C at summit.

There seems to be no let-up in the snowfall in Niseko, having seen another 123cm over the past week, with snow on each on each of the days, including 12cm on January 3. Temperatures are sitting around -10C, dropping lower at high altitudes, giving a very chilly day. The entire resort was open, as well as the gates to access the full range of terrain. Conditions are relatively similar in Rusutsu, with the resort completely open and enjoying clear yet cold days. Although Hakuba has undoubtedly seen substantially less snowfall, 19cm in the past 48 hours has at least led to some enjoyable skiing, especially when coupled with slightly warmer conditions and a clear day expected today (Friday). Areas of the mountain are still in the process of being opened as the snow conditions allow.


Story Image

Your Comments

, be the first to post a comment.
Your email:

Email other comments made to this story

NOTE: Comments are subject to admin approval before being posted.
Mole Poll
Has the announcement of a UK quarantine further hit bookings?
YES 58.39 %
NO 41.61 %

Thank you for your vote

What is GoodtoGo?

Submit your news
or special offer

Current UK Special Edition

Current US Special Edition

Current Asia/Pacific Special Edition


Longwoods Research points to a problem for the tourism comeback

Atlantic City Tourism Stakeholders detail next steps

New cruise business launches amid travel and tourism crisis

Air Mauritius will fly again. The MTPA details its plans to welcome back European visitors