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Will March 2018 Be The Snowiest Ever Month in Californian Ski History?

There have been more huge snow storms at Californian ski areas this week with some ski areas now questioning whether this month may end up their snowiest ever. Squaw Valley reports having had 4.7 metres (185 inches or more than 15 feet) of snow so far this month and says that’s more than they got in January last year when they set an all time snowfall record for any month of operation since the area opened. Nearly another 2.5m (100 inches) of snow will be needed to break the 717cm (282 inch) record set in January 2017 though, but with the are reporting 107cm (35 inches) in the past 24 hours alone, that may be possible.   Last season

Heavy Spring Snowfall in New England

A second wave of heavy snowfall in New England has transformed conditions for the better in Eastern North America since the start of March. The East Coast’s ski areas had been suffering under warm temperatures, leading some in more southerly states to close for the season earlier than they hoped, but a return of snowy conditions for the start of meteorological spring have transformed slopes for the better. In Vermont Jay Peak (pictures above and top) has reported almost two feet (58cm) of snow in the past 72 hours and most other ski areas in the state have reported 30-50cm in the same period. Killington, which tries to stay open in to June each year, had seen the number of

Snow Depths Reach 6m On Two Continents, 5m on Third

Snow depths have been building across the northern hemisphere in the run up to meteorological spring. Typically northern hemisphere snow bases grow and grow from September to March before peaking at the start of spring when the annual thaw begins to slowly reduce the snow pack through spring and summer. In recent years the deepest depths have struggled to reach 4m or 5m at times – last season saw a very deep snowbase in North America but not to much in Asia and Europe for example. 2017-18 is seeing more uniformity across the three northern hemisphere continents.  Depths in Europe passed the 6m (20 feet) mark at several Swiss ski areas in January – very unusually deep bases. Japan in

Big Snowfalls for the Start of Spring in the USA

After a largely quiet February for snowfall in most of North America, March and the start of  meteorological spring, has seen some big snowfalls on both the West and East coasts of the US. The snow is welcome on both coasts – in Califiornia because they’re still battling from low snowfall totals and warm weather through much of the season to date, in the east because temperatures had been unseasonably warm and some more southerly areas had been forced to close for the season early.  Here precipitation was expected to fall as rain at most areas but has fallen as snow at many resorts in Vermont and New York State, where swain ski centre reported 20 inches/51cm of snow overnight.

Big Snowfalls in the Southern Alps

There have been some big snowfalls reported in the southern Alps over the past 24 hours. The snowfall totals are some of the biggest since the huge January snowfalls and follow a mostly dry and often cold February. Accumulations of up to 50cm (20 inches) have been reported in the southern French Alps, as well as in Western Italy and parts of Switzerland. The biggest accumulation reported so far was 50cm at Puy St Vincent in the southern French Alps with Serre Chevalier (pictured top) reporting 40cm and many other ski areas in the region 20-40cm.  Superdevoluy (pictured above and below) has had 30cm of snow since yesterday. Over the border in to Italy there’s been 30cm (a foot) of

How will “Beast from the East” & Storm Emma affect UK Mountains?

It’s hard to avoid a UK news bulletin that does not mention the “Beast from the East” that will dominate the weather over the coming week. This potentially rare weather event is due to a polar vortex - an area of low pressure in the upper parts of the atmosphere that is more often found centred over NE Siberia and Canada. An event known as Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) has occurred where the polar vortex expands and gets pushed south, carried along with the jet stream. This one in four-year event typically leads to cold snaps lasting up to a fortnight. UK accumulated snowfall for 28th Feb - 2nd March and Temperature forecast for Weds 28th

Climbers Make First Winter Summit of Highest Peak in Polar Arctic

Two climbers have successfully completed an ascent of Gora Pobeda (Pik Pobeda), the highest mountain in Siberia, in the Polar Arctic Circle, the coldest inhabited place on earth. Tamara Lunger and Simone Moro successfully reached the mountain’s 3003m summit on Sunday, 11th February at 3.37pm then returned to their base within a total time of 11 hours, covering 27.3km and 2047m of elevation gain whilst avoiding the need to camp out in the extreme conditions. Had they fallen, a rescue would have been impossible. “It snowed all day long, but luckily there was good visibility. It was cold but thankfully cloud cover was in our favor, warding off the extreme temperatures. Low wind and -30/35 is what we can realistically

The Weather Extremes of PyeongChang

It was clear as the Olympics got underway on February 8th that Pyeongchang was going to set records for the coldest recorded Games, but initially it wasn’t clear quite how many different ways this would impact on the competitions.  The wind was not immediately factored in to our thinking either but as soon as events started being cancelled due to the wind, rather than the fact that team coaches were reporting skis warping after one run due to the cold, it became clear that was a factor too. (The presence of a wind farm at the Alpensia Olympic ski venue shows that wind is not unusual here) The “PyeongChang Gust” Strong, gusting winds were the main issue for the first

Coldest ever start fo the Winter Olympics ?

One of the Olympic news commentators’ most consistent comment in their coverage of the start of the 23rd Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, is that it’s cold.  Many saying it’s “very cold.” Various temperatures have been reported which the commentators consider cold or very cold, ranging between -5C and a (“threatened”) -25C.  The commonest number quoted has been -10C although an excited BBC reporter showed a reading of -20C on his phone. Reuters produced a report saying that conditions were so cold they warped racing skis and some journalists have questioned how cold it has to be before events are cancelled. As it is competitors scheduled to compete in the first day or two of competition this weekend were

The Snowmageddon in the Alps of January 2018

The start of 2018 has seen unprecedented snowfall in the Alps.  With resorts cut off by snow-covered roads or high avalanche danger it’s hard to think now that only a few months ago people were getting convinced that, after fairly warm and dry starts to the past three winter, the start of the ski season was no longer a safe bet for booking a snow sports trip.  So prices were rising at Easter and there were deals aplenty in December and January. December 2017, the first full month of the current season, had already been very snowy. Checking through Snow-forecast’s stats going back more than two decades, we reckon it was the snowiest start of a ski season in the