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WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #204

Issued: 18 August 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere WORLD OVERVIEW There’s little fresh snow to report in the past week, worldwide, with ski areas in New Zealand posting the biggest accumulations of the last seven days; up to a metre for some centres. But there’s been little anywhere else. It’s ironic, that the country has now gone into a three-day lockdown due to a virus case being detected. This is just as the conditions are the best they’ve been to date this season.The South American Andes badly need a heavy snowfall, and there are signs they should finally get one later this week. But, in the meantime, more centres have closed for lack of snow.In…

New Zealand Ski Areas Closed For At Least 3 Days

New Zealand’s ski areas are closing for three days as the country goes in to a national ‘ level 4’ lockdown from Wednesday to Friday. The level of alert is the country’s highest and follows a single case of the virus being detected in a 58 year old man who has since tested negative. New Zealand has managed to operate relatively normally for the past 18 months after successfully keeping the virus out and adopting strict lockdowns whenever a case of the virus is detected. A quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia is currently suspended for two months due to rising cases there. Level four - dubbed the "eliminate" phase - means people must stay at home in their bubbles -…

Indoor Snow Centre Hits US Headlines During Extreme Heatwave

The Big Snow indoor snow centre is making headline in the US as it continues to offer a cool, snowy interior whilst the outside world bakes in extreme heat. The state of New Jersey, where the snow centre is located, is in the middle of what’s officially termed a ‘heatwave’ with temperatures over 90F (32C) for more than three consecutive days. In reality temperatures feel like more than 100F (38C) according to local reports. Big Snow is staging a snowboarding competition this weekend with some local boarders competing against 32 professionals from across the country, competing for cash prizes. Big Snow opened just before the pandemic have been mothballed for more than a decade following its construction in 2008 whilst…

Fresh Snow and Wild Weather in New Zealand

New Zealand, the country where pandemic restrictions have rarely been required, is in the midst of a hit-and-miss 2021 ski season. On the downside for snow the warmest June on record (after huge snowfalls for some at the end of May) at the start of the season did not see a huge improvement in July.  For the snow travel business economy the hopes of a boom from the creation of the ‘TransTasman travel bubble’ allowing skiers to arrive quarantine free were dashed when Delta variant spikes in Australia led to its closure to at least late September – the end of the ski season. But things have been looking up at last for snow cover over the past few weeks…

UN Forecasts Faster Melting Glaciers and Rising Snowlines

The first major report from The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group of scientists convened by the United Nations (UN), for eight-years, paints an alarming picture for our  planet’s climate in the near future. The Sixth Assessment Report makes clear that mankind’s failure to address damage being caused to the planet means that global warming will now intensify for decades to come, even if countries still choose to avoid taking serious action. The scientists warm that only drastic action can still prevent some of the worst-case scenarios. Global warming of 1.5C is now considered a near certainty by 2050 but allowing a greater increase of up to 4C, permanently melting vast polar ice sheets as well as mountain…

Canadian Ski Resort Announces It Won’t Open Next Winter Due To Drought

With several ski areas in Argentina unable to open this winter as there’s no snow, a small ski area in the Canadian province of Manitoba has announced it won’t be able to open next winter due to “unprecedented drought conditions.” Holiday Mountain Ski Resort’s General manager Bernice Later told Canadian media it was the first time in the resort’s 60-year history that it has had to cancel a season due to lack of precipitation. The centre no longer has the reliable natural snow cover it once did and needs reliable snowmaking water sources which it doesn’t have due to the drought. Bernice Later said a dry spell that's plagued much of Manitoba this summer has significantly reduced water in the…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #203

Issued: 11 August 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere WORLD OVERVIEW The best news of the past week has been more fresh snowfall in Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand has posted the biggest numbers with up to 75cm (30”) at some areas so far and more forecast. Great news after the rather lacklustre start of the season for snow cover at many areas there. Against that though ski areas in the Australian state of Victoria, currently reporting some of their best snow conditions in over two decades, have been closed once more at very short notice in the region’s sixth pandemic lockdown. But there was a twist on Sunday, initially announced as a seven-day closure…

Australia’s Victoria Tweaks Latest Lockdown Allowing Ski Resorts to Re-Open

The Australian state of Victoria announced it was changing the terms of its latest (sixth) seven-day lockdown so that as of midnight Monday 9th, many parts of the state could re-open, three days earlier than expected, whilst the capital Melbourne remains in lockdown. “In happy news from the Premier’s update …Mt Buller will resume normal lifting operations as of Tuesday with 14 lifts expected to turn and a metre of excellent snow cover waiting for skiers and boarders,” said the resort’s PR & Communications manager Rhylla Morgan. Mt Hotham and Falls Creek are also re-opening from Tuesday, Mt Baw Baw will run its lifts from Wednesday. The previous requirement for a negative COVID test for all visitors aged over 12…

Major Snowstorm Hits New Zealand

A major snowstorm is currently hitting New Zealand, closing some ski areas whilst it passes through and limiting the terrain it’s safe to open at others. Ski centres reported up to 45cm (18 inches) of fresh snowfall by Sunday evening, but the snow is expected to keep falling at most for another 24-48 hours. Porters is pictured top. Mt Dobson (above) say they expect to remain closed through Monday then hopefully have great powder conditions from Tuesday on. They reported white-out conditions and 40cm (16”) of snowfall by Sunday evening with the access road blocked by snow. Resort teams reported it wasn’t safe to clear the road at present as they couldn’t see where it was. (Depth building at Mt…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #202

Issued: 04 August 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere WORLD OVERVIEW We’re at around the halfway point of the 2021 ski season in the Southern Hemisphere and the one thing we can say is that it's going a lot better than the 2020 season at this point in terms of ski areas open. The pandemic continues to have a big impact, more so on some areas than others. But for probably a larger proportion of ski areas, it's the more traditional factor of snow cover that's the bigger issue this winter.Things still are far from great in the Andes with warm weather and sunshine limiting all areas from opening much terrain and some areas from opening…