Record June Snow Extends Good Snow Season for European Alps

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Despite the calendar saying it is spring, winter never really left Europe’s Alps, with record June snow in some areas continued adding to a well-above average snow year, reports Electroverse.

“Winter has made a return to the high Alps —it never left really— with ski areas reporting up to 20cm (8 inches) of fresh snow through Tuesday [June 11] alone,” Electroverse says. “This year’s snowfall has been exceptional, contributing to a record pack across the region.

Electroverse notes that normally snowpack is beginning to decline across the Alps but this year, it has actually grown across the spring through mid-June.

Swissinfo.ch says that Switzerland’s glaciers packed on heavy snow this year, with snow extent running well above the ten-year average. (See the figure below)

Cumulative daily mass balance of Swiss glaciers for winter 2023/2024 (red) compared to the average and the spread of the years 2010-2020. Results based on the 6-day weather forecast are in grey. Glamos

“This winter was one of the best ever for Swiss glaciers in recent memory,” Swissinfo.ch wrote. “Researchers at the Swiss Glacier Monitoring Network (Glamos) estimate that 31% more snow has fallen on average on the 1,400 glaciers dotted across the Swiss Alps than during the 2010-2020 reference period.

“In some places, a six-metre protective cover of snow has built up on the ice giants, situated above 3,000 metres,” Swissinfo.ch continued. “This winter’s dump represents the second-biggest accumulation of winter snow on Swiss glaciers over the past two decades. The biggest was 35% more snow in 2018.”

Sign of the Times (SOTT) reports that Switzerland was not alone in adding to its existing snowpack with new snow falling in early June.

“Winter has returned to the high Alps with ski areas reporting up to 20cm (8″) of snowfall above 2,500m in the last 24 hours,” said SOTT. “Resorts benefiting from the snow include Hintertux in Austria’s Tirol region which is open for skiing year round, pictured this morning.

“Other centers still open since last autumn include Zermatt in Switzerland (ski area also accessible from Cervinia in Italy), Les 2 Alpes in France, and a second Austrian ski area, Molltal, which closes this coming weekend after an 8-month season,” SOTT reported. “Two other centers have opened for summer skiing in the past week, Val d’Isere in France and Passo Stelvio in Italy. Tignes is expected to open for summer skiing later this month.”

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