Have you ever had a white Christmas?

September 22nd, 2020 By: Thomas in General

Hooray! Fresh snow! So we look forward to fresh snow again in 2020/2021! Snowplaza shows you where most of the snow is, when it will snow again, and how much snow is expected in the coming days. So you have a good overview of when winter is coming again. You will also find out everything about the snow conditions in the open ski areas of the Alps as well as the conditions for skiing in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and France. Below we have made assessments of the snow situation for all months in 2020/2021.

Annual overview of weather and snow

If you want to see a lot of snow, you have to go to the mountains! The first onset of winter is possible as early as September, the first ski areas in the Alps open in October, and further ski openings take place in November. The first heavy snowfalls usually set in towards the end of December, so that a white Christmas in the mountains is more likely than in this country. January and February are the snowiest. From March the snow starts to thaw again, although the ski weather is generally nicer at Easter. Please note below that the mountains are determined by very small-scale weather events. With the overview you can still get a good impression of the best time to ski.

January: Very good snow conditions

January is one of the coldest and most snow-sure months in the Alps. A snow cover of over 20 cm in the valley is not uncommon. The average temperature in the ski areas in Austria is well below 0 degrees. There is also enough snow for skiing in the low mountain range. However, the number of hours of sunshine is very low, which can lead to icy slopes.

This is what it looked like in many ski villages in Austria last January

February: the best month for skiing

February is the main travel time in winter. The month is particularly snow-reliable and statistically even the snowiest in the mountains. Towards the end of the month the sun is shining more often again and the slopes unfortunately become a bit muddy. Sometimes grass already comes through on the valley runs. In general, the conditions for skiing remain very good.

March: The snow is slowly melting

In March, the average temperatures in the Alps are again above freezing point. The sun is high in the sky and ensures longer and sunnier days of skiing. The snow is already beginning to thaw in the valley. Above 2,000 m, however, new snow can increasingly be expected. March is therefore particularly suitable for skiing in deep snow.

April: The ski season is over

Most ski areas close and end after Easter. The snow situation in April is only satisfactory above 2,000 m. Below that, the snow melts, the slopes are muddy, and around noon numerous bumps form. The motto is therefore to get up early! The advantages of April are many hours of sunshine and pleasant temperatures.

May: Only rarely snow in the valley

In May there is almost no snow in the Alpine valleys and the slopes are green. The snow conditions are only good in the glacier ski areas, as the temperatures here are still below 0 degrees. Up to 10 ski areas for skiing in spring remain open. Average temperatures of 14 degrees are already measured in the valley. Sometimes the nights are still frosty and can bring a few snowflakes.

June: Snow only at an altitude of 3,000 m

June 1st is the meteorological beginning of summer. The average temperatures in the Alps are 17 degrees, at 3,000 m above sea level they are 0 degrees. However, occasional snowfalls are also possible below it. Skiing is possible in a handful of ski resorts in June. These include the Stubai Glacier, Hintertux Glacier, Kitzsteinhorn, Stilfser Joch and Zermatt-Matterhorn.

July: Summer ski areas in the Alps open

July is the warmest, sunniest and wettest month in the Alps. The average temperatures in the valleys are barely above 18 degrees. Most of the mountain peaks in Austria also have positive temperatures. Snow in summer is quite rare. In addition, the risk of thunderstorms is high. In July, the Mölltal Glacier, Les Deux Alpes, Tignes and Saas-Fee are also open for skiing.

August: Skiing in the morning only

Even in August, it is still midsummer in the Alps. The weather conditions are similar to July. The sun shines an average of around 7 hours a day and temperatures are around 18 degrees. In general, in summer, skiing in the open ski areas is only possible in the morning, as the quality of the snow in the afternoon is insufficient.

September: First onset of winter possible

September is one of the most beautiful months in the Alps and is especially ideal for hiking or mountain biking. It is not uncommon for there to be long periods of good weather. In general, September is considered to be rather poor in snow. The onset of winter is only possible towards the end of the month. Depending on the snow conditions, the first glacier ski areas in the Alps start into the season.

October: Fresh snow on the glaciers

October often brings the first heavy snowfalls and thus winter in the Alps. The average temperatures in the valleys barely reach 10 degrees, the maximum temperatures in over 3,000 m altitude are below 0 degrees and ensure fresh snow. Up to 30 km of slopes are open on the Hintertux Glacier, for example, and the new Ski World Cup season begins.

November: The ski season begins

The first snowfall in Germany begins in November. Depending on the snow depth, some ski areas in the low mountain range such as the Winterberg ski lift carousel or the Feldberg lift network can even start the season towards the end of the month. The average snowfall limit in the Alps is around 1,500 m, so that from the end of November up to 30 percent of the ski areas can be open.

The weather and snow conditions for the season opening in Gurgl in November 2019

December: Snow at Christmas?

In December, the average temperature in the valleys of the Alps is already below freezing point. White Christmas is not guaranteed in Austria and Switzerland, but it is likely. Snow-sure ski areas in December are located above an altitude of 1,200 m. Especially towards the end of the year there is often plenty of fresh snow. Two years ago, New Year's Eve was the snowiest day of winter.

Already knew? Facts about snow

A snowflake is on average 4 milligrams light, snow falls to the ground at a speed of 4 km / h, and the largest snowflake ever observed was 38 centimeters.

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