Where’s The Sunshine?
While we all want great snow conditions on our holidays, we also want lots of sunshine so we can enjoy it all.
The very first winter holidays in the mountains, taken in St Moritz back in the 1860s, were successful because early holidaymakers loved the sunshine and the mountain air in the Engadin region, not so much the snow fun that came later.
Of course, it’s something of a balancing act as logically you’d think lots of sun meant not a lot of snowfall. Ideally we want heavy snow at night, then sunshine all day.
Although we often focus on snowfall records and the likelihood of powder, more and more resorts are promoting their sunshine too. There’s still St Moritz, of course, who have a golden sun as their logo, but France’s Serre Chevalier is among others claiming “300 days of snowfall” a year.
Now suitably named holiday company Sunweb has created the Bluebird Index, which looks at sunshine data from ski resorts across the Alps to establish which has the highest number of “Bluebird” days on average.
Although, as we know from snowfall, knowing what has happened in the past is no sure guide to what will happen on any day in any present or future ski season, it does at least show us what’s more likely to happen!
The company looked at Snow-forecast.com’s historical analysis of weather conditions at 30 of Europe’s top Alpine destinations over 15 years from 2007 to 2022.
They found that of those they looked at, Méribel and La Plagne have more “bluebird days” than any other resorts in the index, with Val-d’Isère/Tignes and Val Thorens making up the top four. Dolomiti Superski region was a high scorer in Italy too.
Snow-forecast.com defines a Bluebird day as a day with “Average snow, mostly sunny, light wind.”
Sunweb also found that wherever you want to go skiing and have the best chance of sunshine, the second week of March, historically and on average, delivers the most snow with 4.2 days.
Martine Langerak, Head of Communications for Sunweb Group, said: “There’s so much that goes into planning a skiing holiday, but the one thing that we can’t control is the weather. We hope the Bluebird Index will assist families and friends who are looking to get their fix of the slopes this winter, by offering a little insight into the weather conditions. And if all else fails, there is always après if the conditions are not in your favour!”
Main Image © Fabian Gattlen