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SNOW NEWS UPDATED 4 FEBRUARY 2016

Pas de Maimbre, Anzère

INTRODUCTION Following a bit of a rollercoaster week of weather, some fantastic skiing was to be had on Thursday 4th February across the northern Alps. Heavy snow fell during Wednesday and another heavy pulse of snow was predicted to give a further covering overnight into Friday. Fresh snow was even recorded in parts of the southern Alps which was great news following a very lean winter so far. Switzerland was the place to be however, with almost every resort seeing at least 30cm of new snow. With the half-term holidays fast approaching the great news is that a significant amount of snowfall is predicted for the Alps between Sunday and Tuesday, with well in excess of a metre possible in the northern Alps. Perhaps the better news however was that as much as a metre of new snow could fall in the southern Alps, the first major snowfall for months.

AUSTRIA Snow was falling across much of Austria on Thursday 4th February, with improving conditions across the majority of our featured resorts. With the freezing level sitting at around 800m, snow was falling all the way down to village level in most regions. The biggest gains look to be made in the west of the country, particularly resorts located in the Arlberg region. Lech (115/130cm) and Zurs (115/130cm) saw around 30cm of snow on the ground on Thursday morning, with more set to fall throughout the day. This should ensure that there are plenty of fresh turns to be had both on and off the piste. The glacier resorts of Stubai (30/160cm) and Pitztal (141/201cm) saw some good snowfall, with around 15cm of fresh snow falling on the upper mountain overnight. As a result there is some excellent skiing to be had in both resorts currently. Elsewhere, overnight totals of around 10cm were present in the majority of resorts, with more expected throughout the course of the day. As a result, base depths have seen improvements across both the upper and lower mountain. Lift operations on the upper mountains have been affected as a result of the poor visibility and avalanche risk. The snow will continue to fall throughout the rest of Thursday and into much of Friday morning. The sun will make an appearance on Friday afternoon and continue over much of the weekend. Clouds will begin to roll in once more from Sunday morning, with snow expected to fall on the upper mountain during the afternoon. Temperatures will remain around freezing for the duration.

Meribel late afternoon, Méribel

FRANCE The last week has seen the conditions improve once again at resorts of the Northern French Alps. There has been some snowfall on the Southern Alps and Pyrenees but the snow has not fallen as heavily as at those resorts further north. The greatest snowfall of all of the resorts we feature across the world has been reported at Chamonix (20/320cm), where almost two and a half metres of fresh snow has fallen over the last week up on the Aiguille du Midi. The snowfall total down in the main ski area in Argentiere (20/240cm) is lower but still impressive at a metre and a half in the last seven days. The resorts across the Northern Alps were in great shape on Thursday 4th February, as this region received the greatest amount of new snow in the recent storm. The weather was a mixture of sun and cloud. The skies were much brighter for those resorts in the Southern Alps, providing excellent visibility to enjoy the packed and groomed now on piste. Fresh snow has landed over the last week. Serre Chevalier (20/115cm) is a very popular resort in this region and here 25cm of new snow landed on 31st January. Further snowfall is expected over the coming days too across the French resorts, in the north and south, which will top up the bases ahead of the increase to visitor numbers over the half term period.

Pas de Maimbre, Anzère

SWITZERLAND Thursday was a real powder day across the Swiss Alps, with some massive snowfall totals being reported in the past 24 hours. Up to 65cm of new snow was picked up in places, with almost all resorts reporting in excess of 25-30cm. Thursday morning brought a brief lull in the heavy snowfall before another weather front arrives during the afternoon to drop as much as another 40cm of snow in places. The biggest winner was Engelberg (40/335cm) which caught 65cm to give a fantastic powder day on the slopes of the Titlis Mountain. All 25 lifts were spinning although some of the famous off piste runs were closed due to avalanche danger, which was at Level 3 on Thursday. Murren (75/214cm) was in second place having caught 57cm on the upper slopes and 36cm in the village, dramatically improving the cover across the mountain. In the west of the country Verbier (25/195cm) and Nendaz (40/155cm) in the 4 Vallees ski area both picked up 30cm by Thursday morning. Some great off piste was to be found on the famous runs below Tortin in particular now the base has begun to build up. To highlight the extent of the snowfall, Flims Laax (30/210cm) right on the other side of the country in the east also caught 30cm of new snow to give some great on and off piste skiing conditions. As mentioned a further 40cm of snow is possible during Thursday afternoon and night, before the sun comes out for Friday and Saturday. Heavy snow is then forecast to set in once again on Sunday, with a metre of new snow possible by Tuesday in places.

Passo Groste, Madonna di Campiglio

ITALY It was a predominately sunny start to the day across much of Italy on Thursday 4th February, with snow showers expected in the afternoon across many resorts. Light snow fell throughout many regions on Wednesday, with resorts in the Dolomites and the Aosta Valley such as Courmayeur (75/160cm) seeing around 5-10cm. This has refreshed the pistes and has ensured that there are good on-piste riding conditions in these regions currently. Off-piste skiing still remains limited due to the lack of snow depth in these areas. The Milky Way continues to struggle with base depths only hitting 40cm on the upper slopes of resorts such as Sestriere (20/40cm). A trace of snowfall has done little to improve fortunes and moderate ski conditions are still prevalent across the region. The links between resorts are open sporadically at the moment so be sure to check in resort for latest information before heading out. Snow is expected on Thursday afternoon in the majority of resorts, before the sun reappears on Friday. The weekend will be predominately cloudy and snowy, with the biggest totals to be found in the Aosta Valley during much of Sunday. The Dolomites will finally see some heavy snow, with up to 50cm possible here. Temperatures will spike on Friday to around freezing, before dropping off once more to around -5C in many regions.

Grau Roig Andorra last week, Grandvalira-Soldeu

ANDORRA It was blue skies and sunshine across Andorra on Thursday 4th February, with temperatures sitting just below freezing. Spring conditions have been replaced with hard packed pistes across all of our featured resorts due to the falling temperatures. The vast majority of lifts are running across much of the Vallnord and Grandvalira regions, with plenty of terrain available to riders currently. The temperatures will see a slight rise on Friday to around +5C, with the sunshine of Thursday likely to continue into the early part of the weekend. Light snow is expected to fall from Sunday, with temperatures expected to fall to around -4C. This will see the start of what could be a snowy week ahead so expect conditions to improve accordingly.

NORWAY/SWEDEN Some great skiing was to be found across Norway on Thursday thanks to recent snowfalls and temperatures below -5C at mid-mountain level. The sun was poking through the clouds in the east of the country, providing great visibility at the likes of Hemsedal (80/80cm) and Lillehammer (50/60cm). Further west it was snowing on Thursday, dropping 10cm at Oppdal (30/40cm) and 6cm at Voss (55/145cm). A further 10cm is possible by the end of the day which will help further with the conditions both on and off piste. This sets the trend for the weather across the country for the weekend, with mostly cloudy skies and light snow forecast, dropping as much as 20cm in places. Some fantastic skiing was reported from Are (80/80cm) on Thursday following 20cm of fresh snow overnight. Some decent powder stashes were reported off piste and the piste conditions were excellent thanks to the new snow. Sadly Salen (37/37cm) missed out, but with 82 lifts running and some decent sunny spells throughout the day there were some decent skiing conditions across the resort. As with Norway the weekend looks to be a snowy one in Sweden, but this time Salen should pick up the heavier falls. As much as 20cm is possible here by Monday, with 10cm expected for Are.

Alpspitze, Garmisch-Classic

GERMANY It was a largely cloudy and snowy day across much of Germany on Thursday 4th February, with fresh snow to report in all of our featured resorts. The best of the current snowfall can be found in the resorts of Garmisch (100/250cm) and Spitzingsee (25/97cm) with 40cm of fresh snow present in both resorts on Thursday morning. As a result, fresh turns can be found both on and off the piste currently. Elsewhere, totals of 5-15cm could be found in all resorts, ensuring great riding conditions on Thursday. High winds were affecting all resorts on Thursday, with the best conditions to be found on the more sheltered runs of the lower mountain. Base depths have seen improvements in all regions, and piste conditions have improved dramatically. Snow will continue to fall into Friday morning, with the wind set to drop during this period. This will give way to a period of sunshine and cloud, before the snow begins to fall once more on Sunday. Temperatures will sit around freezing, with a high of +3C expected on Saturday.

Pamporovo winter season 2014-2015

BULGARIA Cloud was lingering above our featured resorts in Bulgaria on Thursday 4th February, with the possibility of some light snowfall later in the day. Conditions remain reasonable across the majority of resorts, with the best skiing to be had on the well-groomed runs of the upper mountain. With cooling temperatures the slush of the previous week has been replace with hard packed pistes. The cloud of Thursday is expected to yield some decent snowfall before the weekend, with around 15-30cm expected over the coming days. The weekend brings sunshine and clear skies, perfect conditions to enjoy the new snow. Temperatures will fall to a low of -8C on Friday, before warming over the weekend to around -1C by the start of next week.

SCOTLAND The weather across Scotland has been changeable so far this week. The high wind experienced across Britain has begun to give way to calmer weather allowing some uplift across the country. However, the wind has been fairly detrimental at certain ski centres and has stripped the majority of snow off the slopes of Glenshee (10/25cm) who had no lifts running on Thursday. Further to the West and the conditions looked far more promising. The wind hammered the mountains but the gullies of Glencoe (21/52cm) started to fill up nicely and provided some great skiing, whilst skiers were also able to get out onto the Back Corries at Nevis Range (12/33cm) on Wednesday who had 3/11 lifts turning. The outlook for Scotland looks fairly promising with sporadic snow showers from today until Saturday in the west with the freezing level dropping down to 500m. Over at the Lecht (10/22cm) there is a similar story, with freezing levels dropping over the weekend and up to 7cm of snow forecasted on the upper slopes.

USA Great skiing was on offer across the USA, with light snow falling across the Rocky Mountains to give a lively fresh covering of powder to play in on Thursday. In Colorado and Utah 2-3cm was recorded widely at our featured resorts, topping up the already excellent conditions. Steamboat (170cm) bucked the trend following a surprise 23cm of overnight snow, which thanks to temperatures as low as -10C resulted in some light and fluffy off piste snow. Most lifts are open across the state so head to the big resorts of Aspen (155/201cm), Breckenridge (147cm) and Vail (160cm) for the largest amount of available terrain. Some fantastic skiing was also available across California, with the resort of Mammoth (266/419cm) boasting the deepest base depth in the country. The sun was shining and with all terrain open at most of the resorts in the state it certainly is a great time to be out in the Californian Mountains. Sadly the same could not be said for the East Coast on Thursday, where mild conditions resulted in spring-like skiing at all of our featured resorts. Expect the pistes to firm up rapidly throughout the day as temperatures cool and drop to almost -10C by Friday. Some fresh snow is possible over the weekend which is great news as this should help to soften the piste surface. The outlook is also looking positive.

CANADA It was a cloudy day across much of Canada on Thursday 4th February, with the possibility of some light snowfall later in the day in many regions. Conditions across much of Alberta remain good thanks to the snowfalls of the previous seven days. Sunshine Village (140cm) and Lake Louise (95/125cm) have seen around 20-30cm over the past week which has ensured that on-piste conditions remain fresh and good skiing is available across the entire mountain. Light snow is forecast to fall across the region over the coming days, with the sun making an appearance on Sunday. Temperatures will remain low for the duration, hitting as low as -10C on Saturday British Columbia has seen some good snowfall over the previous week which has seen base depth increase and slope conditions improve. Big White (253cm) has seen the best of the recent snowfall, reporting 62cm of fresh snow over the past seven days. Snow is forecast to fall over the coming days, with Whistler (204cm) set to see the biggest gains, with 27cm expected in resort on Friday. On the east coast, conditions continue to improve after some good light snowfall over the past week, with both Tremblant and Mont Sainte Anne seeing around 25cm in the last seven days. Mont Sainte Anne is offering the best conditions currently, with 15cm of fresh snow in resort on Thursday. The weekend sees the likelihood of some more snow, with around 10-15cm of fresh snow expected across the region on Saturday.

EUROPEAN WEATHER OUTLOOK Lots more snow is the forecast for the Alps which is great news with half-term fast approaching. The forecasts have been changing significantly in recent days due to the instability of the Atlantic storms that are set to move across the mountains in the coming days, so keep an eye on the very latest forecasts. On Thursday however the models were becoming more set for further spells of heavy snow from Sunday onwards. Before this however a further 40cm of fresh snow is possible in parts of the northern Alps overnight into Friday. Friday and Saturday are set to be mostly sunny before the return of the heavy snow on Sunday. Well in excess of a metre of new snow is possible in the northern Alps but the best news is that the southern Alps are set to see their first major snowfall in months. Up to a metre is possible in parts of the Italian Dolomites and the French southern Alps which is excellent news. Snow is likely to fall to low levels at times too, with freezing levels set to shift between 800-1400m. Some snow is also forecast from Sunday onwards for the Pyrenees, however the totals are likely to be much lower than in the Alps. Once the skies cloud over around 20cm of new snow is possible in Andorra, with slightly more forecast in the French resorts such as Cauterets and Bareges/La Mongie. Further spells of snow are predicted for Eastern Europe, with Bulgaria in particular set to benefit from some heavy snow (up to 30cm) before the skies clear over the weekend. Those countries closer to the Alps, such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia, will catch the edge of the big snowstorm sweeping into the Alps from Sunday onwards. Expect some fresh snow as a result. A mostly snowy weekend is forecast for Scandinavia, with all of our featured resorts set to pick up between 10 and 20cm of new snow. Sunshine will be at a premium but with improving piste conditions the skiing should be excellent. Temperatures are set to drop into the weekend across Scotland and more snow is forecast just in time for the holiday season. The snow level should sit at mostly below the bases of the five ski areas which is great news, so hopefully some decent gains will be made in the coming days.

NORTH AMERICAN WEATHER OUTLOOK More snow is forecast to fall on Friday in the Canadian Mountains, with 10cm expected at most of our featured resorts. Whistler could see triple this amount, so look out for a powder day on Saturday here. The skies look set to clear quickly through Saturday to leave a sunny Sunday. This sets the trend for next week when mostly sunny skies are forecast for the duration, accompanied by slowly rising temperatures. The remnants of the recent snow storms look set to slowly clear through the western states of the USA during the course of Thursday. The sun should be shining across Utah by Friday and elsewhere by Saturday and with temperatures sitting as low as -10C the snow should be kept in fantastic condition. The settled weather looks set to continue through into the new week, accompanied by steadily rising temperatures, with daytime highs nudging above freezing by Monday. The sunshine state of California looks set to live up to its name this week, with clear skies forecast over the weekend and well into next week. Temperatures are set to hit higher than +5C by early next week, giving an early taste of spring to all of our featured resorts in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In stark contrast the outlook for the eastern states of both the USA and Canada is decidedly wintery. Some bitterly cold temperatures below -10C are forecast and some heavy snow is possible on Tuesday which is great news following the bad winter.le on Tuesday which is great news following the bad winter.