It may be nearly mid-March but it has been the snowiest few days in the Alps for some time with some resorts in Switzerland reporting up to 90cm (three feet) of snow since Sunday, and there’s much more on the way for the rest of the week.
Ski areas in Austria have reported up to 60cm (two feet) of snow in the same period and in France, 35cm (14 inches) at Chamonix. But almost everywhere seems to have had at least 15-30cm so far and the forecast is for heavier snow still; in the latter half of this week and at the start of next.
The Valais region has reported the biggest snowfalls so far with Anzere reporting the 90cm snowfall. It is forecast to receive a further 75cm over the next 72 hours which would give it a six-day total of 1.65 metres or 5.5 feet. Verbier has reported 45cm/18 inches so far.
Some other Swiss areas, including Andermatt, which is still posting the deepest base in Europe at 6 metres (20 feet), are forecast to get more than a metre more snowfall over the next week.
The weather is changeable and varied and the snowfall is not all good news. High lifts were closed at Alpe d’Huez as strong winds hit just as the huge Tomorrowland festival was getting going meaning some non-skiing revellers had to be rescued from mountain restaurants in snowcats.
The Dachstein glacier in Austria has closed due to fog and sometimes blizzard conditions and whilst temperatures have dipped below -10 again on higher slopes, some lower altitude resorts including Chamonix have reported rainfall at times at village level – all fairly normal for this time of year.
Other areas, like Saalbach in Austria (pictured top) which has had 60cm (two feet) of fresh snow have reported great powder conditions during breaks in the snowfall.