World Snow Overview

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SNOW NEWS UPDATED 18 JUNE MAY 2019

INTRODUCTION More ski areas have opened over the weekend in both the northern and southern hemispheres as ski areas north of the equator gear up for summer skiing and top the south for the main 2019 winter season.

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

AUSTRALIA After the sensational start to Australia's 2019 season at the end of may and start of this month, with the snowiest conditions this early in the winter for two decades, things took a turn for the worse late last week when a warm, wet front brought thawing, rainy conditions which rather decimated the new snow cover. As a result depths have more than halved at many areas. The good news is that temperatures have now fallen and as of Monday it is has been snowing again. Snow depths ate Australian resorts are always remarkably similar and perisher (32/32cm), Thredbo (342/32cm) and Falls Creek (32/32cm) are all publishing the same stats at time of writing (and they're about half what they were 7 days ago) with 5-10cm more expected in the current snowy period. It will clear up by Wednesday but this time temperatures should stay low and so conditions will be maintained. The final Aussie area to open for the season, Charlotte Pass, is due to do so this weekend.

Season starts tomorrow., Cardrona

NEW ZEALAND Winter 2019 is gradually gaining a hold in New Zealand with five centres now open and more due to join them this coming weekend. The Remarkables (3/75cm) has the best snow total stats and has also reported 20cm of fresh snowfall over the past few, further improving conditions. Coronet peak (10/50cm) was one of the latest areas to open, last weekend, although for opening day there was not enough snow for skiing or boarding and it was snow play and tobogganing instead.

cafecito, Cerro Castor

ARGENTINA The season start at Argentina's resorts is coming up next weekend with most resorts planning to start the lifts turning on Saturday, 22nd June. It is not a vintage pre-season so far but temperatures are generally hovering at, or just below, freezing in most areas and there is snow lying. South America's largest ski area (in terms of number of lifts), Catedral, reports 5-35cm of snow on its slopes already for example, with a little more forecast later this week before opening day.

Pista Tres Marias Bosque, Nevados de Chillan

CHILE The 2019 ski season is due to kick off this weekend at most of Chile's ski areas too. There are no official snowfall stats ahead of the weekend but ski areas have been posting plenty of white pictures - the skill is working out which are new pictures and which are old, but we do know there have been several significant snowfalls over the past month and that it's cold with more snow falling in most areas so hopefully things are looking good for the coming weekend and the start of Chile's 2019 ski season.

SOUTH AFRICA Tiffindell's 2019 ski season kicked off at the end of last week. After some natural snowfalls earlier this month they currently have 100% snowmaking cover on the slopes with temperatures +5-10C due to get cooler later this week.

Snow falling at Afri-Ski, Afriski Mountain Resort

LESOTHO It's a sunny week this week in Lesotho with temperatures at Afriski (0/20cm) between +2 and +9C. There's no snow in the forecast although the trend is towards lower temperatures towards the end of the week. Currently the main slope is 500 metres long and there are terrain park features available too.

NORTHERN HEMISPHERE

Saalbach with 60cm of fresh snow in last 72 hrs, Saalbach Hinterglemm

AUSTRIA We're into the second half of the 12 day period this year when only one ski area is open in Austria. That area is the year-round Hiintertux Glacier (35/410cm), which currently has 20km of runs open for summer skiing. It's lonely existence will end later this week however when the Molltal glacier is scheduled to re-join it and begin a 10.5 month ski season which will take it to May 2020 - another of the world's longer ski seasons. A third glacier area, the Kitzsteinhorn, which only ended an 8 month ski season at the start of this month, will re-open for summer skiing on the last weekend of this month after its brief closure.

April Magic, Méribel

FRANCE It's a big weekend coming up in France with the summer ski season due to begin this weekend in Les 2 Alpes and Tignes, tripling the total number of areas open in the country - so far it's just Val d'Isere - where there's three weeks of summer skiing left. For the two new openers though the season will last to later in July or even into August. Temperatures in the high mountains in the French Alps this week are largely around 0-5 degrees Celsius with sunny skies and no precipitation - rain or snow.

Lenzerheide sunrise

SWITZERLAND Zermatt (0/250cm) remains the only Swiss ski area currently open, until Saas Fee re-joins it in a month's time. It currently reports 21km of trails open over a 700 metre vertical - that's actually bigger than most southern hemisphere resorts can offer in their winter, such is the size of Zermatt's vert. Nine lifts are currently running to access the year-round slopes.

La baraka, Pila

ITALY Passo Stelvio (150/350cm) looks to be in great shape still after its delayed opening following the huge snowfalls in May. It reports all six lifts running and all trails open. It's currently the only Italian area open although Cervinia is scheduled to re-open at the end of the month, to access its own summer ski area and/or Zermatt's on the Klein Matterhorn.

Sol y nieve, Grandvalira-Pas de la Casa

ANDORRA There are currently no ski areas open in Andorra or the wider Pyrenees, winter sports will resume here next autumn.

NORWAY/SWEDEN Norway's three summer glacier ski areas of Folgefonn (Fonna), Stryn and Galdhopiggen will be joined this weekend, as mentioned in our introduction, by Sweden's Riksgransen, re-opening after a month's closure for four days and nights of skiing and boarding between 10am and 1am to celebrate the summer solstice and the start of astronomical summer. Last year the event, due to run from Thursday to Sunday, could not happen due to too little snow cover but this year, they say, there's enough. Temperatures in the region are currently around 5-10C with a mixture of sunshine and (rain) showers.

Cable car on top of Zugspitze, Garmisch-Partenkirchen-Zugspitze

GERMANY There are currently no ski areas open in Germany, other than the country's half-dozen indoor snow centres. Outdoor winter sports will resume here next autumn.

Mosta (The Bridge) Lift, Bansko

BULGARIA There are currently believed to be no ski areas open in Bulgaria or anywhere in Eastern Europe. Winter sports will resume in the region in the autumn.

SCOTLAND There are currently no ski areas open in Scotland other than the Snow Factor indoor snow centre and the country's dry slopes. Winter sports will resume in the region in the autumn.

View over The Sea of Japan, Chisenupurri

JAPAN The snow depth is now down to less than a quarter of the 10 metres it was when Gassan (0/230cm) opened for its 2019 summer ski season 10 weeks ago. Current conditions have seen temperatures drop to around 6-7C overnight but get well into double figures above zero Celsius in the daytime. At time of writing it was cloudy but dry.

USA We have lost another weekend re-opening ski area after the weekend in the US with Aspen, following Breckenridge a week previously, in saying last weekend was its last open. However Arapahoe Basin (112/112cm) is open this coming Friday to Sunday and maybe more. Copper Mountain also has its terrain park open but that's for people booked on summer camps at its Woodward freestyle centre. Temperatures are generally too warm for more snow now but A Basin did manage to post an inch (3cm) of fresh since the weekend. Altogether there are still seven US ski areas open in five states which is more than any country except Australia this week. The main news this week so we (finally) have a new USD summer ski option in the shape of Montana's Beartooth Basin which finally did open on Saturday, about it's sixth revised hoped-for opening date over the previous three weeks when one thing after another stopped its opening. Originally its season was only due to last until July 7th so it may only be a three week 2019 season. Elsewhere there's little change on last week except snow depth are starting to drop fast as it finally warms up. Mammoth (89/254cm) and Timberline (71/71cm) are both open daily with Squaw Valley (0/333cm) and Snowbird (191/191cm) open at weekends.

CANADA Whistler Blackcomb is into the second weeks of its short glacier skiing season on Blackcomb mountain. There's been a mix of sunshine and cloud this week with temperatures peaking around 10C but it's set to get colder towards the weekend when forecast rain may fall as snow up on the glacier, fingers crossed.

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE WEATHER OUTLOOK in Australia the snowfall for the start of this week does not look like it will add up to much but the good news is that temperatures are set to stay sub-zero for the rest of this week which means an end to the thaw and also good conditions for snowmaking to build up bases on key runs. Things start to look more settled after the weekend but that's a bit far off for now. It's looking like a fairly cold and snowy week ahead across New Zealand with snow forecast from Wednesday to Friday in particular at present. The volumes of snow do not look set to be huge though, with currently 5-10cm the ballpark by the weekend when more resorts are due to open for the 2019 season. In Southern Africa temperatures are up above freezing for the week ahead so the current snow cover will be topped up with snowmaking when possible overnight through the week. The Andes of South America are seeing changeable temperatures with lows down as far as -15C but then resort-level highs of up to +10C at times too. The week ahead looks to continue this temperature roller coaster with the best chance of snowfall in most areas coming next Friday then in to the weekend. However the snow may fall as rain at lower elevations at some areas.

EUROPEAN WEATHER OUTLOOK Temperatures are climbing in the Alps and although they'll still be down around zero on glaciers overnight, daytime temperatures may reach +10C and as low as +25C now down in the valleys below, so definitely no snowfall at present, with bright sunshine more the norm later in the week.

NORTH AMERICAN WEATHER OUTLOOK There's no real chance of any fresh snow in the US with temperatures 5-15C on the mountain tops in California and a slightly cooler 3-10C on the higher peaks in Colorado. The only area that may see a little more fresh snow in Canada with Whistler Blackcomb possibly getting a few centimetres more up on its glacier slopes.