Europe Weather Outlook
The weather is forecast to remain mostly sunny across the European resorts this week, although there is some cloudier weather expected on Thursday 13th March. This could deliver fresh snow to Austria and Germany. The temperature is expected to rise for the start of next week with the freezing level expected to sit around 3,000m on Monday 17th March. If you are after fresh snow then the Scandinavian resorts could be your best bet, as cloudy and snowy weather is forecast next weekend. Oppdal in Norway could receive almost 60cm of new snow by Tuesday 18th March.
As you may expect at this time of year, sunny weather and spring conditions can be enjoyed across Austria. If you stick to the north facing slopes, the snow is in excellent condition the higher up you go. At the lower altitudes on sun exposed south facing slopes, you can expect firmly packed snow first thing in the morning that quickly softens to provide spring riding conditions. The higher altitude resorts of Pitztal (261/361cm) and Kaunertal (297/365cm) report the deepest snow bases of Austrian resorts. Obergurgl (74/156cm) reported that edge control was relatively easy this weekend, with plenty of soft snow on the pistes. Zell am See (10/103cm) reported that the snow on the upper slopes was in great condition, however the slopes on the way down were soft and heavy in the afternoon.
Fantastic sunny weather blesses the French resorts at the start of this week. Excellent snow conditions can still be enjoyed, especially on higher, north facing slopes. Even lower down the snow is still in great shape, although it becomes soft by the afternoon. Cauterets (250/350cm) in the Pyrenees has the deepest snow base of French resorts, both on their lower and upper pistes, with an average base depth of three metres on Monday 10th March. On Sunday 9th March, Tignes reported that the on piste snow conditions throughout the resort were excellent. In Meribel, the pistes were in great condition on Sunday and there was really good skiing, particularly up Peclet and the Col. The forecast this week across France is for the sunny weather to remain, although there could be the odd cloudy spell, with a chance of a light dusting of snow in the Pyrenees.
Spring conditions dominate across Switzerland. It was a sunny and warm weekend at all Swiss resorts and people were enjoying the excellent spring snow on offer. Higher resorts like Saas Fee (128/390cm) had a mixture of conditions, with softer spring snow lower down and wintry snow higher up. There's plenty of it though, so the mild and sunny forecast is of no concern. It's a similar story at Davos (67/138cm). There was excellent skiing on Sunday 9th March and lovely weather. The resort has plenty of snow and all the runs down to Klosters (45/138cm) are open at present. The mild and sunny forecast this week shouldn't affect the amount of runs open in the near future.
It's a superb time to be skiing in Italy at the moment, especially if you like sunshine and spring snow. Cortina (150/370cm) has an exceptional snow depth, which promises a great spring season to come. The lower runs are quite soft after the warm weather but there's a considerable amount of snow across the whole mountain. The western areas have great spring conditions too. In particular, the conditions in Sauze d'Oulx (140/180cm) were excellent for skiing on Sunday 9th March. Upper areas still have more wintry snow due to the colder temperatures and lower areas are softer.
The skiing in Andorra is excellent at the moment, partly due to the excellent snowfall the Pyrenees has received this winter. The deepest snow base is reported at Arcalis (200/300cm) in the Vallnord ski area, although the Grandvalira resort of Pas de la Case (180/270cm) is not far behind.
There was some fresh snow in many Norwegian resorts over the weekend, giving them a welcome freshening to the ski areas. 15cm fell at Voss (40/145cm) on Sunday 9th March, although it was only the upper area that received the fresh snow. It's still fairly mild so lower down it fell as rain. Upper and lower areas at Are (45/61cm) are in great condition as temperatures are just below freezing. The whole area was open on Monday 10th March.
Spring riding conditions dominate across the German resorts. The best snow cover is at the higher resorts of Garmisch (100/235cm) and Oberstdorf (40/135cm), where the skiing is very good. Lower down at resorts like Lenggries (0/40cm) and Spitzingsee (49/77cm) the snow is weather affected, especially off piste.
The conditions across Bulgarian resorts were improved on Monday 10th March with fresh snow falling. The upper piste depth at Bansko (10/165cm) has improved by 20cm since Friday 7th March, while the depth at Pamporovo (65/85cm) has increased by 5cm. This was due to the snowfall landing at Bansko from Sunday 9th March. The visibility was reduced at all three resorts on Monday, and similar weather was forecast for Tuesday 11th March, before brighter skies return mid-week.
Most Scottish resorts were open for skiing on Monday 10th March, offering spring conditions on all but the highest runs. Cairngorm (150/300cm) received a few centimetres of fresh snow overnight on Sunday 9th March but Monday 10th was a dry and cloudy day on the whole. There's still plenty of snow across the mountain but certain areas of off piste have less of a base than others. It's a similar story at Glencoe (205/490cm). They've still got loads of snow, particularly higher up and you can still ski virtually anywhere. Lower slopes were a bit soft and wet on Monday but fresh snow higher up means the runs are skiing very well. A mild but generally sunny and dry week is expected, which should finally allow people to enjoy all the snow for a period of time.
North America Outlook
A mixture of sunny and cloudy weather is expected throughout this week and over next weekend, with a chance of fresh snow at almost all North America resorts. The only two resorts without fresh snow forecast are Mammoth and Heavenly in California. The Skeena heli-ski area in Canada is expecting the most snow, with almost 80cm of fresh snow forecast at mid-mountain level by Tuesday 18th March. Fresh snow is forecast every day until then. In America it is the Vermont resorts of Mount Snow, Killington and Stowe that should receive the heaviest snowfall, with around 30cm scheduled to land at mid-mountain level over the same period. In New Hampshire, Attitash Bear Peak should receive a similar amount.
There was more fresh snow in Colorado over the weekend, continuing their already excellent season so far. Breckenridge (231cm) recently announced an extension to its winter season in light of how much snow they've received so far this season. They'll now be open a week later than planned with a closing date of 27th April instead of 21st April. Conditions are excellent at the moment and with warmer weather on the way it should be a fantastic spring in Colorado. Further east there was fresh snow too. Resorts such as Mount Snow (127/137cm) received around 5cm of fresh snow on Monday 10th March. The fresh snow means conditions are good and they have an impressive base depth, helping to ensure a great and long spring ski season.
Many Canadian resorts reported fresh snow over the weekend and into Monday 10th March. Skiers at Lake Louise, part of the Banff (128/214cm) area, woke up to 23cm of fresh snow on Monday morning, which was on top of around 20cm over the course of the weekend. Conditions are great at the moment and although it's warmer than it has been recently the snow is in excellent condition. Snow fell at Panorama (84/150cm) too. 25cm of snow gave a fantastic March powder day. Like Banff, it's fairly warm at around freezing but the snow is nice and powdery and there's plenty of it as we head into spring.