The snow is lying deep and crisp and even over most ski slopes in Europe following two heavy snow storms in succession during the last five days of 2017.

We at had already analysed the data to see that overall the start to winter 2017-8 has been the snowiest in Europe for more than 20 years.  That was before the latest big snowfalls.

Pictured top is Lech yesterday.

Déneigement Pic Blanc – Alpe d'Huez

Il y avait un petit peu de neige au Pic Blanc ce matin !

Posted by Alpe d'Huez on Sonntag, 31. Dezember 2017


72 hour snowfall totals from the latest storms have been as high as 1.2m (four feet) at Gstaad in Switzerland with Tignes in France claiming 112cm, Laax (CH) 105cm and many other areas between 60 and 90cm.

Seven day totals with the accumulations from the two major snowstorms added together are as high as 175cm (nearly six feet) at Alpe d’Huez (below).  Many other areas have had more than a metre.


The remarkable news is that the snow shows no sign of slowing up – so far we’re expecting 50-80cm more fresh snow over the first three days of 2018 on most higher slopes in the Alps.  Alpe d’Huez has another 55cm forecast to fall by Wednesday – to give a potential 2.2m 8 day total – over seven feet of snow.

The snow yesterday led to travel disruption and delays as one of the busiest changeover days of the year combined with huge snowfalls.  Adding to weight of traffic and slippery or snow-blocked roads, some roads including the road up to Val Thorens were closed temporarily for avalanche mitigation work and one of the roads in the Les Gets was closed by a land slip.  A lot of pre-planning was in place however with chains obligatory for drivers and temporary emergency accommodation available.

Currently most areas are enjoying a lull between the two fronts with great conditions on the slopes once again and most resorts offering powder conditions and all runs that can be safely opened, open.  However the avalanche danger for off piste is unsurprisingly at or near maximum levels.  Val Thorens is pictured above today.

It should also be noted that the Pyrenees, Dolomites and much of Scandinavia are on the whole posting good to excellent snow totals too.  In the Dolomites bases are mostly the best they have ben for at least four years, particularly good news this early in the season.

Elsewhere in the world there have been big snowfalls in many of North America’s ski areas and across the Pacific a very snowy start to winter in most of Japan.