The winter may be four months away, but the snow is already beginning to make an appearance in the Alps, with between 10cm and 20cm forecast in several of the higher resorts over the weekend.
Okay, so any snow that falls between now and the end of October, unless it falls onto a glacier, probably won't be around for long, but summers that start with snow, often lead to winters filled with the stuff. Last winter, which boasted snow in epic proportions, had early snow in September and October, followed by weeks and weeks of the white stuff arriving from mid-December. The snow fell relentlessly until mid-season and made another big return from the end of Feb through until April.
Could we be looking at another epic winter? With no La Ninas or El Ninos currently forecast in the Pacific, it bodes well for Europe — as both weather patterns tend to have a bigger effect on North America. Could we be about to embark on back-to-back seasons of heavy snowfall? Whistler has just boasted two record seasons in a row, so maybe it's time for St. Anton, Val d'Isere and Verbier to benefit from the powder gods.
So, where will the snow be falling this weekend?
There is also plenty — for this time of year — of snow falling in Switzerland over the weekend. Zermatt's summer skiing is set for a huge boost, with 46cm of snow expected to fall in as little as 48 hours, with Saas Fee boasting an equally impressive 37cm of snowfall! Engelberg is expecting around 16cm of snow on its very own glacier, while the 14cm of snow arriving in Verbier will please skiers, but not the summer mountaineers enjoying the resort.
France is looking good for the weekend, and anyone enjoying some summer shred on the Tignes glacier will enjoy the 12-15cm on the long range forecast. Chamonix is looking at up to 20cm across Saturday and Sunday, not great news for the summer climbers — especially after the awful summer of accidents they are having. Alpe d'Huez may boast 300 days a year of sunshine on average, but 12cm should fall there, while Val Thorens and Les Arcs should see around 15cm of snow.
There is also some light snowfall expected in Italy over the weekend with similar snow falling in Austria next Monday.
Long range and summer weather forecasts can certainly be a little unpredictable, but it bodes well that another snowy winter could be on it' way. Now to convince the boss I need a trip to the Alps in December.
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