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Snow Watch: Colder conditions across Europe

Richard Chapman

Friday, December 12, 2014, 10:20 GMT -

Colder weather has continued in Europe through the week, with some light snow falling on Monday and Tuesday in the Alps, adding to the snow cover. Much heavier snow fell across the Pyrenean resorts, many of which have been reporting very good skiing conditions.

Many resorts in France are set to open this weekend, although it is worth noting that snow cover will be limited off piste and at low altitude. New snow fell in Switzerland earlier this week, with up to 25cm reported in some places such as Wengen. With this and the continued cold weather, more terrain is opening up and skiing conditions are slowly improving.

The colder conditions have allowed for plenty of snowmaking - the snow cannons were able to produce a lot of snow and as a result many resorts that are still closed are planning to open this weekend. These include Kitzbuhel, Lech and Saalbach in Austria and Adelboden, Arosa-Lenzerheide and Crans-Montana in Switzerland. The pick of the skiing conditions in Switzerland can be found at Zermatt with 80cm on the upper slopes, 40 lifts were operating, providing access to a massive 213km of slopes.

The Ski Club of Great Britain report that conditions in Andorra and across the Pyrenees are very good following heavy snowfalls earlier in the week. Pal/Arinsal opens this weekend, meaning all the Andorran resorts will be offering skiing for the first time this season. Excellent early season conditions have also been reported at Baqueira-Beret and Sierra Nevada in Spain.

The severe weather in the UK this week has massively benefitted the Scottish ski resorts, all of which have seen good snowfall. The west coast has benefitted the most, with Glencoe (reporting 35cm on the upper slopes) and the Nevis Range seeing the heaviest snowfalls.

In Sweden, Are (10cm on upper slopes) has missed out on recent snowfall and only has one lift open, but with snow being made all week, some more terrain should open shortly. The World Cup skiing tour is in town this weekend with the ladies slalom event on Saturday and the men take to the slopes on Sunday for their slalom race.

Overall it is expected to remain fairly bright across Europe until Saturday evening when thicker clouds are predicted. This could bring some light snow to the Alps. The freezing level is predicted to rise slightly but this shouldn’t affect the majority of ski areas at a higher altitude. Snow making will almost certainly continue during the night and conditions should improve with each passing day. Scandinavia is forecast to be mostly cloudy over the weekend and there are indications that some light snow may fall in both Norway and Sweden.

Data provided by the Ski Club of Great Britain

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