This week, the best snow conditions can be found towards the southern end of the Andes – thanks to two meaty storms in the last seven days.
Las Lenas in Argentina is one of the big winners – and reports 90cm of fresh snow since August 22. Meanwhile, Catedral Alta Patagonia, near Bariloche, has also seen heavy falls. Here’s how it looked yesterday morning.
Further north, the resorts near Santiago in Chile have missed out on most of the action. But not all of it: as you can see from this shot taken in Valle Nevado, part of the Chile’s Tres Valles, earlier today.
More snow is expected later this week – and once again it’ll mostly fall on the mountains south of Santiago. For powder hunters, Las Lenas and Catedral Alta Patagonia are more promising destinations at the moment than Valle Nevado and Portillo.
The resorts of Australia and New Zealand can’t quite match this abundance. Nevertheless, the Snowy Mountains of Oz had a welcome top-up on Sunday, with Thredbo reporting 15cm of fresh snow – and a season total of over 3 metres so far. It’s been cold, too (-9C on Saturday night), and will stay that way till Friday, when milder westerly winds take over.
Here’s how neighbouring Perisher looked yesterday. The resort currently has 105 groomed pistes open.
In New Zealand, a mild end to August means spring conditions are the rule. Mt Hutt near Christchurch has the best cover. Thanks to a series of stonking snowstorms earlier this month, its snowpack is 295-347cm deep. Compare that with the 40-80cm of settled snow reported at The Remarkables near Queenstown. Fortunately, a colder spell is expected at the end of the week.
Meanwhile in the Alps…
August is finishing with a flourish in the Alps – with brilliant sunshine and the day-time freezing point at 4,400m in Austria and 4,600m in the French Alps.
With almost perfect timing, however, the weather is set to change tomorrow night. Rain is expect in the west, spreading into Austria on Thursday, and temperatures are going to drop sharply. According to our snow forecast, there’s even going to be a dusting of white at altitude…