There’s a striking difference this morning between the weather conditions inthe eastern and western Alps.
In the west, the sunshine continues, and there’s barely been a flake of fresh snow since Christmas. In the east, they’re drowning in the white stuff. In Austria and parts of eastern Switzerland, the avalanche risk is at 4/5, off-piste skiing is out of the question, and some resorts, such as Obertauern, have been cut off by the risk of snow slides.
More snow is expected. However, from tomorrow it will fall more widely across the northern Alps, with parts of the French Alps seeing light to moderate falls this week (although Austria and Switzerland will still get the lion’s share of the snow).
It’s already cold, but by Thursday it will be frigid, with the daytime freezing point in France dropping down to 300m.
Here’s the current forecast for Thursday, January 10 from the ECMWF.
So it looks as though the lower French ski resorts will at last get some fresh natural snow for their hard-packed pistes – while in Austria they’ll just have to keep digging themselves out.
Here’s how it looked on the Nordkette, above Innsbruck yesterday. Here the snow is up to 246cm deep on the Seegrube.
Because of the avalanche risk, the Nordkette is closed today for skiing.
This was the scene in one of the car parks in Lech yesterday. The resort is one of St Anton’s neighbours in the Arlberg. St Anton reports up to 360cm of snow on the Valluga, and 170-265cm of snow, mid-mountain.
Meanwhile, here’s a shot from Axamer Lizum in the Tirol today. The snow here is up to 125-180cm deep.
Compare and contrast all of the above with the sunshine in Courchevel in the French Alps today.
Here, the snow is up to 53cm deep at resort level, and 121cm deep at the top of the ski area.