“Who doesn’t love a surprise powder day?” wrote today’s Facebook poster at Mt Hutt in New Zealand. Looking at this morning’s photo from one of its more sheltered off-piste slopes it’s hard not to disagree.
Actually, the powder day probably wasn’t that much of a surprise. The Sunday weather was wild here, with 150km/h gusts and 15cm of new snow, and whilst exposed slopes and ridges were scoured, in other places the wind-blown snow was deep and lovely (once the routes had been secured against the risk of avalanches, of course).
There’s been snow in the Queenstown and Wanaka resorts of the South Island too. Here’s how The Remarkables looked on Sunday.
Further falls are expected this week, as a series of cold fronts move up from the south. Clearly, June will end on a wintry note.
They’re hoping for snow towards the end of the week in the mountains of south-eastern Australia too. Here, a big storm in the middle of the month rescued the start of the ski season, and the weekend just gone was a good’un for carvers and freestylers – with the odd stash of soft snow for those who knew where to look.
Cold nights have helped the resorts work their snow cannons hard, but they’ll be glad of the snow showers forecast for the second half of this week.
However they’ll have to make do with what they’ve got for the moment. There is snow in the forecast for the region, but it’s likely to focus on more southerly resorts such as Cerro Catedral.
Meanwhile, in the Alps…
It’s time for this.
The Alpine flowers are blooming and the summer-festival season is in full swing. We’ve just had the Crankworx at Les Gets, the Superenduro in the Val di Fassa in the Dolomites, and the E-Bike Fest in St Anton. Meanwhile, above Tignes and Les Deux Alpes, the glaciers both opened for the summer ski season.
This week, the forecast promises scorching weather in the western Alps, and wetter, slightly cooler conditions in the east. However, in the west, the odd afternoon thunderstorm is a distinct possibility as the week progresses. On the this side of the Alps the daytime freezing point could well hit 4500m.
For more on the “off-season”, check out our guide to summer in the Alps.