A huge pre-season snowfall in Australia has blanketed ski areas there with up to a metre (40 inches) of snow in the past 48 hours.

It’s six weeks until the country’s ski areas are due to open for their 2020 season over the Queen’s Birthday weekend, a holiday weekend in the country and the traditional opening date for ski centres, snow cover or not.

But Aussie ski areas are harking back to 2009 when another big autumn snowfall led for one of the earliest ever ski days in the country’s history 11 years ago, with Mt Buller posting this image (and the one above),

Charlotte Pass has reported the biggest snowfall with a metre (40 inches) of snowfall since Thursday. Other areas have reported Mt Buller 56cm, Perisher 55cm (below) and Thredbo 50cm.  Mt Hotham (top) and Falls Creek have also had 50cm+ (several feet) of snowfall.

This year it remains unknown whether the resorts will be able to open at least for skiers based in Australia, depending on the state of the pandemic in the country at that point.  Resorts are preparing to open in the hope they will be able to at least at some point during the season – which traditional runs to late September of early-October, if it’s deemed safe.

Jasna in the Slovak Republic, one of Europe’s operators of gondolas, cable cars and large 4 and 6 seater chairlifts, opened last Friday for some mountain tourism with various anti-pandemic-spread measures in place

Ski areas in Poland are due to do the same on May 5th and in Australia they’re able to from May 29th.