World Snow Overview

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SNOW NEWS UPDATED 23 APRIL 2015

Good day, Obertauern

INTRODUCTION It has been a glorious final week of the season for many Alpine resorts, with warm spring sun shining for most. The lower slopes are suffering as a result so head high for the best conditions. If you're planning a trip for the weekend ahead, take wet weather gear as some heavy rain is expected to at least 2,500m before colder air feeds in on Monday and snow falls to 1,500m.

AUSTRIA Almost all of our mid-range resorts have now closed leaving the higher resorts and glacier resorts still open for snow sports. Of the resorts still open the remaining mid-range resorts that are still open, they're offering enjoyable spring time skiing but you don't have long left before they close too. St Anton (55/320cm) had 23 lifts running on Thursday 23rd April providing access to some soft pistes and varied off piste. The resort is expected to close this weekend along with the neighbouring Lech and Zurs (15/155cm).If you want some more reliable skiing then aim high for the likes of Kaunertal (273/371cm) and Pitztal (302/343cm). There are other glacier resorts too with firmer pistes such as the Hintertux (10/270cm) and Neustift (5/260cm). The current weather pattern of sunshine in the west and central regions, with cloudier skies in the east look set to continue as the weekend approaches but more clouds should develop towards Monday – bringing some rain followed by snow.

Les arcs at night

FRANCE Mostly sunny skies have been enjoyed across France this week, with warm temperatures leading to spring skiing conditions across the mountain. A significant change in the weather is expected on Saturday however, as wet weather spreads in from the west. This will initially fall as heavy rain to around 2,500m, but will turn increasingly to snow at lower levels on Monday as the freezing level drops to 1,500m. As a result some great powder is possible up high to start the new week. Therefore, for the best conditions this weekend, head to the highest resorts where snow will be falling, such as Val Thorens (100/220cm), Tignes (45/152cm) and Val d'Isere (45/152cm). The slopes of the Grands Montets above Argentiere (0/175cm) should also offer some good skiing over the weekend. Most resorts are set to end their winter ski season on Sunday 26th April, so this weekend provides the last opportunity for lift-served turns. These include Alpe d'Huez, Avoriaz, Bonneval sur Arc, Cauterets, Chamrousse, Chatel, Courchevel, La Clusaz, La Grave, La Plagne, La Rosiere, La Tania, Le Grand Bornand, Les Arcs, Les Contamines, Les Deux Alpes, Les Menuires, Les Saises, Meribel and Montgenevre. The Three Valleys and Espace Killy links also close, although skiing is still set to be available at Tignes, Val d'Isere and Val Thorens individually.

bs3, Flims Laax Falera

SWITZERLAND It has been a gloriously sunny week at for those resorts lucky enough to still be open. As with France, a significant change in the weather is expected over the weekend, initially bringing rain before the weather gets much colder and snow falls to all levels by Monday.The biggest skiable areas in Switzerland are currently Zermatt (0/240cm) and Samnaun (20/180cm), with more limited terrain on offer elsewhere. Sadly it is no longer possible to ski right back down to either resort, but conditions up high remain good and both are set to continue skiing into May Engelberg (0/350cm) and Verbier (0/240cm) continue to offer some decent snowsports on the upper slopes, although the latter is set to close this weekend. Andermatt (0/550cm) retains its huge upper base, but lower down the warm weather is beginning to take its toll on the snow.Sunday 26th April marks the end of the season at Andermatt, Engelberg, Murren, Pontresina and Verbier.

Madonna di Campiglio

ITALY Spring conditions are taking their toll on many of our featured Italian resorts and we have already seen some close their gates for the end of the winter season. We are expecting more resorts to close this weekend as many pistes have closed. The best skiing currently available can be found in the Val D'Aosta region with Cervinia (40/250cm) still operating all 14 of its lifts and also providing good links into Zermatt, Switzerland. The resort was very sunny on Thursday 23rd April, spring conditions were apparent throughout the resort but firmer slopes were available higher up at the Plateau Rosa region. The links into Zermatt were also open so there was a huge range of slopes there to be enjoyed.The current band of sunshine and clear skies is forecast to wind down unfortunately as thicker clouds are expected to develop with the weekend, which could bring rainfall to many resorts.

Grau Roig Andorra last week, Grandvalira-Soldeu

ANDORRA All of our featured resorts in Andorra are now closed for the season.

Crosscontry skiing, Gaustablikk

NORWAY/SWEDEN Some glorious sunny weather this week has provided some great late-season skiing in Norway. Four of our featured resorts remain open, included Geilo (40/40cm), Hemsedal (90/90cm), Lillehammer (20/150cm) and Trysil (124cm), although all bar Hemsedal are running fewer than half of their lifts and are set to close after this weekend. Hemsedal is open until May 3rd, so is your best bet for some final turns of the winter. There should be some further sunny spells over the weekend, although more widespread snow on Monday could bring 10cm of powder.Limited skiing is on offer at Salen (45/65cm), with the final five lifts scheduled to close on Sunday 26th April. Are (45/45cm) is set to stay open until May 3rd, and with 40cm of snow forecast by Monday, the prospects for the final week of the season are good.

Alpspitze, Garmisch-Classic

GERMANY Limited skiing is on offer in Germany at the resorts of Garmisch (0/435cm) and Obertsdorf (0/120cm). Nine lifts were turning at the former and five at the latter, providing some good spring skiing under sunny skies. It is forecast to be a damp weekend ahead, but heavy snow is currently forecast to low levels next week, which bodes well as both are set to stay open into May.

BULGARIA Limited skiing under sunny skies has been on offer at Borovets (250/315cm) this week, before the scheduled closing date of Sunday 26th April. Sadly the weather is set to deteriorate on Friday and a rainy spell of weather is expected. But with lift tickets a mere 10 Bulgarian Lev – or £3.60, this has to be the best value day of skiing across the world this weekend. Sadly both Bansko and Pamporovo are closed for the season.

SCOTLAND Get up to the hills on Friday if you fancy spring conditions and warm sunshine as the weather is about to revert back to full winter conditions. By Sunday the freezing level will be at around 300m and some heavy snow showers are expected and may well continue well into next week. For those of you that remember late April 2012, a similar pattern could set up – with frequent and heavy snow showers leading to some great late season powder turns! Fingers crossed that the forecast holds. For now Glencoe (10/150cm) is offering great coverage on the upper mountain, will all main runs still complete and the Plateau poma for access. A freestyle park has been built in the Main Basin and has been seeing a lot of action in recent days. Cairngorm (0/40cm) has less cover, although the piste conditions are very forgiving as the spring snow loosens throughout the day. The halfpipe in Marquis Well is open and the terrain park in the Ptarmigan bowl has some great features still. The new snow forecast is certainly set to prolong the season and some great conditions can be expected as we head towards May.

USA Colorado is holding some of the best skiing conditions of anywhere in the world at present, with Winter Park (175cm), Arapahoe Basin (135cm) and Loveland (175cm) leading the way. Lots of new snow is forecast over the weekend and into next week, with over 50cm expected. Sadly Winter Park is due to close its doors to skiers on Sunday, but conditions at the other two are likely to be fantastic for the time of year with yet more powder turns available. Snowbird (188cm) has been running four lifts all week, with spring conditions dominant across the mountain. Neighbouring Alta (188cm) is set to join it this weekend in what will be the final weekend or lift served turns this season in Utah Squaw Valley (45/78cm) and Mammoth (15/120cm) continue to offer limited snowsports in California, with the former certainly closing after Sunday's skiing. Over on the east coast, many resorts are now closed but skiing is still possible at Killington (76/102cm) and Sugarbush (25/114cm) however recent rain has reduced the available cover. Sunday River is set to open this weekend and will do so again, weather permitting on the 2nd/3rd May.

CANADA Whistler (182cm) is the only one of our featured British Columbian resorts still open. 5cm of fresh snow on Wednesday and a further 20cm is possible by Sunday. Blackcomb Mountain is closed until the summer ski season begins in June so all skiing at present is on the upper half of Whistler Mountain.The skiing in Alberta remains excellent at both Marmot Basin (122cm) and at the Banff (172/176cm) resorts, however Mt Norquay at Banff closed for the season on Sunday. Expect some snow flurries into the weekend before spring really takes hold early next week and daytime temperatures soar into double digits. Over on the east coast, Tremblant is now closed for the season but Mont Sainte-Anne (20/50cm) is set to open for the final days riding of the season on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th April. All of our other featured resorts are now closed for the season.

EUROPEAN WEATHER OUTLOOK Following a prolonged spell of warm and sunny weather, the weather is set to change massively over the weekend in the Alps. Heavy rain is expected to move in during the course of Saturday, with snow only falling above 2,500m. A second weather front moving through on Sunday night is also set to bring heavy rain, but the temperature is set to drop rapidly through the night and by Monday morning the snow level could be as low as 1,500m. High regions could see in excess of 50cm of fresh snow by Monday, and lower levels around 20cm on Monday alone once the weather cools. The cold and snowy theme is set to continue next week – perhaps with the snow level dropping below 1,000m. So winter is forecast to return with a bang. A mild and damp final weekend of the season is forecast for Bulgaria, although there may be a few sunny breaks over the weekend – especially in the mornings.The forecast for Scandinavia is looking changeable and noticeably colder than of late. Sweden may catch some great late-season snowfall, with Are expecting up to 40cm of new snow which should set it up for a great final week of the season. Winter is set to return to the Scottish Highlands through Saturday, bringing with it some potentially heavy snowfall into next week. The great season is set to continue…!

NORTH AMERICAN WEATHER OUTLOOK Some light snow is possible in Alberta in Canada and at Whistler before the weekend, before spring really takes hold and very warm sunshine spreads into the region. By Tuesday, mid-mountain temperatures are expected to hit +10C and then continue to rise.Yet more snowfall is forecast for the Rockies in the coming days, with Utah possibly catching around 25cm on the upper slopes by Sunday – so some final weekend powder turns are likely. The resorts of Colorado, especially Loveland and Arapahoe Basin, are set for another very snowy spell and could see upwards of 70cm by Tuesday next week.More damp and mild weather is forecast for the east coast of the USA and Canada – sadly providing poor conditions for many resorts' final weekend of the winter.resorts' final weekend of the winter.