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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.…

Where To Ski or Board in the USA During The Solar Eclipse

There’s a lot of excitement in the US about the coming solar eclipse this Monday 21st August, the first to cross the entire country in just under as century,  and some commentators have been debating whether it’s possible to be skiing or boarding on snow when the eclipse occurs, for the full cosmic experience and a probably once-in-a-life-time on-snow achievement that will give you bragging rights for the rest of your life. Skiing or boarding in North America in August is always a possibility if you’re prepared to hike up to your snow.  There’s even been some fresh snow reported in the past week on northerly high peaks on the continent.  There’s only one ski areas on the continent at…

Will Romania Create A Ski Area Four times Bigger than Anything It Has So Far?

Romania’s Minister for Tourism, Mircea Dobre, has announced plans to build the country’s biggest ski area by some distance. The planned new resorts, in the Fagaras Mountains, known colloquially as the ‘Transylvanian Alps’ though actually a part of the Southern Carpathians, would have 150km of ski runs – nearly four times as many piste kilometres as the country’s current largest ski area at Sinaia. The project is included amongst a number of proposals listed in a new Tourism Master Plan just approved by the Romanian government. Minister Dobre told media who asked him about the proposal that in fact the idea was almost 50 years old. “Actually the idea dates back to 1968,” he said adding that resort plan was,…

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/…

An Evening of Skiing on Real Snow in Summer in Italy

The Italian ski region of Alta Badia has plans for a very special night of snowsports celebration later this month. The ski and snowboard school at the village of La Villa are so dedicated to their sport that they have kept a big stock of real snow, left over from last season, preserved under a tarpaulin and they’ll be getting it uncovered and spread out on a slope by their office in the village on the evening of  Thursday 17th August. Their “Summer Ski Show” – back for its second year – promises a night of skiing celebration, excitement and fun during one of the hottest month of the year. And once the show is over, the ski school throw…

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…

Study Concludes Climate Change Could Close Ski Resorts Even When Snow Remains

An interesting new study in to the impact of climate change has concluded that shorter ski seasons could mean ski resorts are forced to close as they become unviable business models, even when they still have snow on the ground for a few months of the year later this century. The study, by a group of scientists in Colorado, took a different approach to many climate change impact forecasts in not just looking at how much less snow there is likely to be in the futures due to climate change, but then seeking to analyse whether ski areas could still operate  in each scenario. Surprisingly perhaps, the study entitled: "Projected climate change impacts on skiing and snowmobiling: A case study…

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…