There have been some of the biggest snowfalls of the season so far in Europe over the past 24 hours and the snowy conditions are expected to continue for at least the next week.

The biggest reported snowfall of 120cm (four feet) was reported in the Dolomites, but ski areas in the Alps and Pyrenees have also reported up to a metre of snow so far too.

This was a typical ski resort scene this morning, in this case at Damuls n Austria.

 

The snow in Europe follows some big snowfalls in Western North America (Up to 90cm in 48 hours) over Christmas which greatly improved conditions at resorts in Colorado and Utah which had been suffering one of the driest and warmest starts to the season for years.

In Eastern North America there were massive snowfalls in unexpected locations too including around five feet (150cm) in snowstorms in Pennsylvania and New York State.

The biggest falls in Europe in the past 24 hour have been reported at Arabba, a resort infamous for occasional huge snowfalls, the most recent of which, nearly four years ago in early 2014, led to a state of emergency as access roads were blocked and power lines brought down.

The intervening three seasons had been fairly dry in the Dolomites so with most resorts in the area reporting at last 60cm of snow since Wednesday morning on top of some good snowfalls earlier in December and in November, this is already looking like the best season since at least 2013-14.

In the Pyrenees the biggest snowfalls have been reported on the French side of the mountains with resorts like Cauterets, St Lary (above) and Les Angles reporting up to 80cm of fresh snow in 24 hours.

The snowfall has been very heavy in the Alps too with up to a metre of fresh snow reported (at Alpe d’Huez – pictured below first thing this morning) in the last 24 hours.