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Hot Weather In The Alps Melts Snow Cover on Glaciers

This summer’s high temperatures in Europe has led to most of the year round snow cover on Alpine glaciers melting away completely in many places, leaving the glacial ice exposed directly to the sunlight. Currently seven glaciers are supposed to be open for snowsports but two have had to close this month because the snow has melted away.  The remainder report very thin cover and ‘tough’ (Les 2 Alpes - pictured below) skiing conditions. The Stelvio glacier in Italy closed at the start of the month for the first time in its operational history, but it has been able to re-open some terrain following fresh snow.  Latest to close is Austria’s Molltal glacier, which has closed indefinitely until adequate fresh…

It’s Snowing on Mars this Summer (Probably)

A new scientific study has determined that it is snowing on northern Mars every night. New atmospheric simulations indicate that occasional observations over the past decade from orbiting reconnaissance spacecraft and landers that appeared to show snow or frost on Mars, and potentially snow-bearing clouds in the atmosphere, are correct. Details of the new study have been published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Scientists found that flakes of water ice fall from clouds high in the planet’s atmosphere, sometimes failing to reach the ground, but sometimes leaving a frosty covering. (A frost avalanche seen by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2015) The simulations appear to confirm earlier physical observations. Early in 2000 space scientists reported  on the…

Big Storm Approaching the Andes. More Than 2 Meters Of Snow Forecast For Chile

The current season will be remembered for a long time in South America as one of the best in years, specially in the Patagonia region. Above-average snowfall at almost every resort in Argentina and Chile led to countless powder days in some of the Andes' top ski areas. Still, season is far from ending: a massive storm is heading the mountains and will deliver lots of snow in the next week. Cerro Catedral, Argentina When Cerro Catedral (in Bariloche) has snow, it is among the top ski destinations in the Southern Hemisphere. According to SnowBrains founder and freeskier Miles Clark, between August 6th and August 18th there were 11 (out of 12) powder days. Not bad! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaIb-CEaYDU 9-day forecast for Cerro Catedral.…

More Big Snowfalls in New Zealand

There have been more big snowfalls in the past 24 hours in New Zealand. The ski areas in the South Canterbury area have seen particularly snowy conditions with 30 centimetres of snowfall accumulating above 500 metres this morning and the snow continuing to fall all day. Mt Dobson, Ohau (pictured top) and Roundhill ski fields were all closed today due to poor visibility and other issues caused by the snow. Roundhill Ski Area (pictured below) reported 60cm of snow had accumulated there, Fox Peak 40cm.   The snowfall has also been part of the latest band of extreme weather in the country which has brought flooding to some towns and also gale force winds at times.…

Heavy August Snowfall in the Alps

There has been heavy snowfall in the European Alps over the past few days. The snow comes after a period of extremely hot weather which became known as ‘Lucifer’ and saw temperatures widely reach the 40s Celcius, and reportedly 55C at the hottest point. Only a limited number of ski areas are currently open for summer skiing and boarding, including Saas Fee and Zermatt in Switzerland, the Hintertux and Molltal glaciers in Austria; Les 2 Alpes in France and Cervinia in Italy. Several of these areas reported significant snowfall on Friday/Saturday including 41cm of fresh snow at Saas Fee (pictured below after the snowfall), which had re-opened for its nine-month long 2017-18 ski season just a few weeks ago. https://www.facebook.com/Tignes.net/videos/1743823132312038/…

Portillo, Chile Stops Selling Day Tickets As From Tomorrow Due To Lack Of Snow

Portillo Ski Resort in Chile announced that is going to stop selling day tickets as from tomorrow, Saturday, due to lack of snow. In a statement posted last Wednesday on their website and social networks, they argued that the reasons for the decision were the current snow conditions. The text also highlighted that Portillo will resume selling day tickets once conditions get better. According to Portillo's general manager, Miguel Purcell, 85% of the ski area was opened for skiing on Tuesday. The hotel is full and people are skiing normally. However, the snow cover is thin, and won't last for too long if it doesn't snow soon. Portillo's…

Where In The World Is Open for Snowsports in August 2017?

It’s the height of summer in the northern hemisphere but 10 centres are open through August in Europe and north America.  There’s even been some fresh snow on glacier slopes in the Alps. South of the equator it’s mid-winter and there’s been some heavy snowfalls in South America (Valle Nevado is pictured top in July 2017) and New Zealand in July, plus fresh snow for Australian and African resorts too. Europe The highest slopes in the Alps had some fresh snow in the last week of July – just a few centimetres but enough ‘snow in summer’ to get excited about. Since Saas Fee opened for its summer skiing season (in fact it stays open for snowsports now right through…

Mammoth to Continue Skiing in to August for only Second time in its History

Mammoth Mountain ski area in California says its ski season will last until the end of Sunday, August 6th this year, the second time in its history that it has made its season stretch in to August. In total staying open to August 6th will mean it has been operating for 270 days since its season started nine months earlier at the start of November last year. It’s one of Mammoth’s longest ever seasons but it has managed longer in the past, staying open for 300 days to August 14th back in the 1994-95 season 22 years ago. Mammoth still has a 90cm snow base and ten trails open served by three lifts.  That’s about 10% of the snow depth…

Fresh July Snow in the Alps

There has been fresh July snow on high slopes in the Alps over the past 24 hours. Summer snow at high altitude is not wholly unusual but  is still a rare treat for those summer skiing or boarding in Europe. Currently around 10 glacier ski areas are open in the Alps.  Snow fall was reported at many of them – but it was just a couple of inches/5cm for most. Tignes in France posted pictures of snow on the terrace of a restaurant at the Grand Motte glacier. In Austria the year-round snowsports centre of Hintertux posted images of staff working in the July blizzard. The Pitztal glacier is not one of the glacier ski areas open for summer skiing…

Resort Bases Pass 2m Mark As Huge Snowfalls Continue in New Zealand

Bases have been building fast in New Zealand as huge snowfalls have continued to bring deep snow to the country. It’s looking good for the rest of the season at most of the country’s ski areas now but in the short term the extreme weather has closed many areas with travel made hazardous, power outages, operational difficulties and high avalanche risk amongst the issues being faced. When areas are open they are very busy as this is one of New Zealand’s peak school holiday periods and some areas have had to close to new arrivals at times as their slopes reach capacity. Mt Dobson (pictured yesterday, video today) is one of the areas that now has more than 2.1m of…