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Tourism: snowfall deficit on all massifs

2024-02-20T19:31:33.566Z

Highlights: Snow is lacking almost everywhere, except at high altitude in the Alps. In many French resorts, the slopes are no longer black, red or blue but all entirely green. The mid-mountain massifs are the most impacted by the absence of snow. It is also very deficit in Corsica, despite the 40 to 50 cm falling above 1,300 m altitude. The situation should improve soon with the arrival of a disturbance and colder weather. Snowflakes are expected on all mountain ranges from Sunday.


Snow is lacking almost everywhere, except at high altitude in the Alps. Certain massifs no longer have the slightest trace of it on the ground, and in


In many French resorts, the slopes are no longer black, red or blue but all entirely green.

Green grass has replaced the white of the snow which is missing in all the French massifs, although in contrasting situations.

“We had a lot of snow at the beginning of November then the rain came back and washed away the snow cover and there we haven't had any snow since mid-January,” laments Jean-Luc Boch, the president of the National Association of mayors of mountain resorts (ANMSM) and councilor of La Plagne (Savoie).

This becomes complicated, especially for the lowest stations, some of which must stop their operations.

Especially since the very high temperatures this winter did not make it possible to produce artificial snow.

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The mid-mountain massifs are the most impacted by the absence of snow which has completely disappeared in the Jura or the Vosges and almost everywhere in the Massif Central.

It is also very deficit in Corsica, despite the 40 to 50 cm falling above 1,300 m altitude.

Only the massifs of Haute-Savoie and northern Savoie remain better off

The difficulties are also very significant in the Pyrenees which face a snow deficit whatever the altitudes.

The recent mild weather which brought spring temperatures a few days ago melted the thin white coat which had been deposited on the ground.

We hardly find any natural snow on the northern slopes below 1,700 to 1,900 m.

The situation is more positive in the Alps, marked by a significant snow episode around ten days ago.

40 to 60 cm of fresh snow covered the Southern Alps and nearly 20 cm in the Northern Alps with a rain/snow limit around 1,500/1,800 m.

If it made it possible to find a situation close to normal above 2000 meters for the most southern sectors, the snow cover is abundant or even excess beyond 2400 m for the rest of the massif.

A situation which contrasts with the deficit observed at lower altitudes.

You often have to reach 1,500 m on the north slopes to find snow and 1,800 to 2,000 m on the south slopes where the snow cover has receded more significantly.

The massifs of Haute-Savoie and the north of Savoie remain better off with white observed between 1,300 m on the north slope and 1,600 m in the south.

Snowflakes expected from Sunday

These differences are found in the snow accumulations on the ground.

We thus count more than 2 m at the Aiguilles Rouges station in Haute-Savoie (2,365 m above sea level) or 3.38 m at Nivôse des Écrins in Isère (2,978 m).

On the other hand, we walk with dry feet in Chamonix (1,050 m) and on barely more than 40 cm of snow in Les Gets (Haute-Savoie), the fourth lowest value since 1988. The 22 cm measured on the site of the Col de Porte in Isère are the lowest total in more than thirty years.

This situation should improve soon with the arrival of a disturbance and colder weather.

Snowflakes are expected on all mountain ranges from Sunday but will especially benefit high altitudes.

“It feels good to see the arrival of natural snow which is our raw material,” rejoices Jean-Luc Boch, who nevertheless notes that the high altitude resorts of the northern Alps remain in an excellent situation: “All those located at above 1,500 m work extremely well!

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Source: leparis

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