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Thursday February 16, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

There has been some fresh snow after last week's sunshine, but it is far from wintry across much of the Alps. We look at conditions in the Alps, the Pyrenees and The Rockies. UPDATED

There was some snow on Friday, especially in the northern Alps, but there is no sign of any sustained return to winter just yet.

The Alpine weather expert, Fraser Wilkin, who runs the website, said altitude was the key to good quality skiing in the Alps over the next week or so.

"The weather has taken a turn for the worse today across the northern Alps, with rain and snow in places," he said on Tuesday morning.

"The southern Alps will remain mostly dry, however, with variable cloud and some sunny spells here and there. 

"The most significant precipitation today will be in Austria, north of the main Alpine ridge (i.e. Vorarlberg, Tirol, Salzburgland), with a rain/snow limit between 1200m and 1600m (east to west).  Above 1800m, 10-20cm of snow is possible here and there, locally a bit more."

Warth Schröcken webcam Tuesday morningWebcam image: Warth Schröcken, Vorarlberg, Austria, Tuesday morning














Ischgl, TirolIschgl, Tirol, Austria, Monday 20th February
















IschglIschgl, Tirol, Austria, Monday 20th February
















"The eastern Swiss Alps will also see a few centimetres of snow at altitude, but the western Swiss and northern French Alps will see little if any," Fraser said. "The entire southern half of the Alps should also stay mostly dry.

"Snow conditions in the Alps are, unsurprisingly, quite mixed at the moment. Some higher Austrian and eastern Swiss resorts will benefit from fresh snow today, but lower down it will fall as rain and, more generally speaking, mild temperatures mean that the snow is turning a bit spring-like in places."

We will hear more about the Alps later but over in North America it's turned into one of the best winters in recent years.

Huge amounts of snow have fallen this season and our editor, James Cove, is currently on a 4-week road trip round the USA and Canada.

He has arrived in Banff in Canada and sent us this video report from Sunshine Village where he looks at current conditions in the resort and an overall view of the snow in the areas he has visited.

See here for his latest blog as he arrived in Canada.

And here is the blog from Colorado

And the one from Utah too.

In the video report James mentions going into Delirium Dive with the avalanche patrol - see here for that report from last winter.

On Sunday night the predicted snow fell.

Further heavy snow is forecast for Wednesday and Thursday.

Sunshine Village, Banff, CanadaSunshine Village, Banff, Canada















So, what is it currently like in the Alps?

Engleberg - Friday (pic: webcam - Friday (pic: webcam













St Anton, Rendl - Friday (pic: webcam Anton, Rendl - Friday (pic: webcam













Further snow fell on Saturday in the Pyrenees. The storm is forecast to extend south in the Iberian Peninsular as far as Sierra Nevada.  More on the Pyrenees later in this report.

Check out some of the images from across the mountains.

La PlagneLa Plagne, France
















PlanetSKI reader Nathalie Kingdon spent half term in La Plagne and sent in the two images below. She said "We had a fab week in La Plagne with amazing snow and sunshine, such great skiing, loved the domaine".

La Plagne - amazing snow and sunshineLa Plagne, France  - amazing snow and sunshine
















La Plagne - amazing snow and sunshineLa Plagne,, France - amazing snow and sunshine
















Here are some more images of the wall-to-wall sunshine enjoyed by holidaymakers over the half-term.

Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France











Verbier, SwitzerlandVerbier, Switzerland
















St Anton, AustriaSt Anton, Austria















Favourable conditions on piste and off piste this week in St Anton, Austria.


Cervinia, ItalyCervinia, Italy
















The warm temperatures have taken their toll on some pistes and resort runs are slushy in the afternoon.

Off piste remains far from ideal with no fresh snow and below average snow depths for the time of year.

The Pyrenees, though, has been enjoying the spoils the weather front that came over the first weekend of the half-term break.

Andorra saw 100cm in places.

In Baqueira Beret in Spain, the snow depths currently range from 160cm to 240cm.

The snow conditions are nicely illustrated below.

AndorraAndorra (pic: Facebook)













And some deep snow in Grandvalira in the video below.


Port del Comte is a small ski resort in the Port del Comte mountain range, in the Serra de Querol area of the Pyrenees.

Port del Comte - PyrenneesPort del Comte - Pyrennees













Arcalis, Andorra 20th FebruaryArcalis, Andorra 20th February - photo Zofia MT Facebook
















Baqueira Beret, Spain 21st FebBaqueira Beret, Spain, 21st February - photo Baqueira Beret Facebook











On the French side of the Pyrenees, Vanessa Fisher on holiday in Ax Les Thermes last week, sent us this photograph and comments.

"After two days of massive storms bringing warm foehn winds from the south, closing resorts across the French Pyrenees on Sunday and Monday, finally the wind dropped and the sun came out today - Tuesday - and with the storms came a good 5" of fresh snow to play in."

"North facing slopes held the powder all day in Ax les Thermes in the Ariege region of the French Pyrenees. We are now looking forward to another two days of sunshine to match the Alps!"

Ax Les ThermesAx Les Thermes, Pyrenees (pic: Vanessa Fisher)
















There is beautiful weather across the French Pyrenees.

Grand Tourmalet, Peyragudes, Saint Lary and down to Ariege and Ax 3 Domains are all enjoying settled weather and warm spring like conditions.

Grand TourmaletGrand Tourmalet















Further snow is forecast over the weekend for the Pyrenees from Saturday.

The front will continue to the south of the peninsular where it will get stronger.

Snowfall is expected at elevations of 1,400m to the north, and between 1,400m to 1,600m in the south.

Sierra Nevada is expected to receive an abundant and generous snowfall.

Over in North America it remains very good.

Canada and the USA are seeing one of their best winters in recent years as we reported in the video at the start of this report.

And PlanetSKI has been experiencing the excellent snow in America first hand.

"Records are set to be broken this winter with huge amounts of snow but it has eased off recently. Parts of Utah saw 20cm of powder last weekend and I am now in Colorado where it has been sunny this week with little fresh snow," said the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, last week.

"However there are huge snow depths of several meters in places so the slopes are well covered."

Powder Mountain, UtahPowder Mountain, Utah














Breckenridge, ColoradoBreckenridge, Colorado
















James is on a 4-week road trip across 20 odd resorts in the USA and Canada.

See here for the first reports around Salt Lake City in Utah and here for the resorts around Ogden.

Here on PlanetSKI we will be updating this snow report as the weather changes so do check back.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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