J2Ski Snow Report - February 7th 2013
Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports 07-Feb-2013
Admin posted Feb-2013
(* Free to re-publish in whole or part so long as credited to www.J2ski.com with hyperlink to http://www.j2ski.com/snow_forecast/)
As we head toward the mid-way point of the Northern Hemisphere's season, more records are tumbling.
This week the deepest snow in the world is... in The Pyrenees! With depths exceeding 5 metres now being reported, nearly a month of almost continual snow has brought epic conditions to the region.
And in the forecast... is more snow! After a few days of cold temperatures and scattered light snows, another significant snowfall is expected Monday for the North and Central Alps.
This Week's Headlines
- Pyrenees now claiming deepest current snow In the world at 5.4m
- Fresh snow in Colorado.
- Greatest snow depth in French Alps hits 4m.
- Almost all runs complete at all five Scottish ski centres.
- More healthy snowfalls in the Alps - with up to 1.5m in the past 7 days.
Heavy snow across Austria is good news for most of us but has been bad news for organisers of the World Alpine Skiing Championships in Schladming trying to get some runs in between the snowfalls and sometimes foggy conditions.
Kitzbuhel is actually reporting the biggest accumulation of the past seven days with 70cm, 15cm (six inches of it yesterday, and Zell am See is only an inch behind with 68cm. But most resorts have had at least a foot (30cm) in the past week with big winners including powder Mecca Fieberbrunn with 55cm more fluffy stuff. Resorts in the Skiwelt added 45cm (18 inches) to their bases and there were similar 40cm+ falls reported for the Arlberg, Obergurgl, Filzmoos, Kuhtai and Ischgl – but basically it's snowy everywhere.
French resorts have reported some of the biggest snowfalls in the world over the past week both in the Alps (115cm at Avoriaz) and Pyrenees (1.1m at Cauterets).
Most of the country's resorts have reported at least 30cm of new snow and in some cases as much as 2 feet (60cm) - at Les Arcs, and 2.5 feet/75cm at Val Thorens and even 3 feet (90cm) at Flaine, Avoriaz and Val d'Isere. Although the Alps have now lost top place on snow depth to the Pyrenees, most resorts have at least a 2m upper slope base depth and some over 3m – including Val Thorens (3,1m), La Rosiere (3.3m) and Chamonix (3.5m). Flaine is the first resort in the French alps to hit 4m, just today.
With a few notable exceptions (Cervinia 70cm of fresh snow in the past week, Selva 435cm), few Italian ski areas registered any fresh snows as a wave of the white stuff appeared to track across the Alps further north. That has changed in the past 48 hours however as more and more Italian resorts, particularly in the north west, have reported 10-15cm (4-6 inch) overnight accumulations. These include Livigno, Santa Caterina, Courmayeur and la Thuile. Cervina and Passo Tonale continue to dispute top spot in the country for snow depth with both at around 2.8m on upper slopes.
Despite French incursion, Engelberg continues to maintain it's 'deepest snow in the Alps' title, thanks to another foot (30cm) of fresh snow in the past week, 20cm of that measured on Wednesday, so 's powder time once again. Slope depth here is now 4.7m – nearly 16 feet on the glacier so it's looking good for its usual ski-season through to mid-May.
Switzerland's former deepest snow of 12-13 title holder, Andermatt, remains a contender in second place at 4.2m, indeed the only other Swiss resort with a base of 4m+, but is losing ground. In terms of fresh snow however Switzerland has another title holder for the alpsd this week with the 145cm accumulation at Crans Montana 30cm (a foot) more than its closest competitor in Europe (Cauterets in the Pyrenees). But nearly all Swiss resorts reported very big falls in the past week, typically 60-120-cm and the smallest still 45cm (18 inches). Other big winners include Klosters (90cm/3 feet), Saas Fee (1.2m/4 feet) and Verbier - yet another 70cm, base depth there now touching 3m.
Cauterets on the French side of the Pyrenees now has the deepest snow base in the world at 5.4m after another 115cm (nearly 4 feet) of snow fell over the past week. The snowfall is not quite so dramatic in Andorra but still impressive with 60cm (2 feet) of new snow in Grandvalira (Soldeu and pas de la Casa) and in Vallnord snow depth at Ordino Arcalis approaching 3m (10 feet).
Snowfall has slowed on the Spanish side but still another 8 inches (20cm) fell yesterday at Baqueira Beret and snow depths at resorts in the region are all above 3m.
Little change in conditions in Eastern Europe although there's been 10cm of new cover in Slovenia. Depths remain very healthy in Bulgaria (1.5-1.8m) and all runs open at Poiana Brasov in Romania (60cm) while Kranjska Gora is on 80cm on upper slopes.
It's been snowing rather hard up in Lapland so not much hope of seeing the northern lights this past week. Snow depths are up 25cm to a metre at Levi in Finland. Some of the best falls of the season to date in Sweden too, with Are's base depth up 20cm to nearly 90cm and in Norway, already the snowiest part of the region, falls of 5-10cm at most resorts have been trumped by a whopping 60cm (2 feet) at former Inghams fave Voss on the coast which now has a 2.2m base – double that of its nearest major resort competitor.
Scottish ski areas are actually in their best shape this season so far with, pretty much, all runs complete from top to bottom at all five centres – excellent timing fore the start of the half term holidays. We say 'actually' because despite the snow cover there can be the usual issues with Scottish skiing which make a normal day a rarety. Over the past few days gales (which appear top be easing) have caused operational difficulties leading to whiteouts and 'stormbound' closure days and access roads have been blocked by drifting snow at times too.
No huge falls in Canada this week but snow accumulations have been consistent, with Whistler adding another 12cm (5 inches) last night and most areas in Alberta and BC staying up at around 2m average snow depths. Fernie is reporting the deepest snowbase in Canada at present at 225cm. Lake Louise added another six inches/15cm of snow in the past week. On the East Coast, base depth numbers are, as per normal, about half that on the west, Tremblant has a metre base and reports 3cm/an inch of snow to freshen up the hard packed surface yesterday.
There's been serious snow in northern Colorado at last with at least a foot (30cm) falling at the end of last week at resorts including Breckenridge, Vail and Winter Park leading to a flurry of excited promo emails, tweets and posting with pictures depicting people apparently waist deep in powder4. The late arrival of the snow is a mirror image of last season. Other parts of the Western US appear to be doing better, Utah bases are typically 1.5 – 2m compared to Colorado's 1m.
There's a real mix in California with Heavenly claiming only a metre or so of snow lying and nothing fresh in a week whereas Mammoth's 490cm was the deepest snowbase for a major resort in the world for the past few months until Cauterets took over this week, it too has had nothing fresh in the past seven days. Although there's been little fresh snow in the US since the start of Feb last Friday, Jackson Hole posted one of the biggest falls (20 inches/50cm) by Friday. In the East there's been a few more centimetres of snow and most resorts have bases around the metre mark.