With a fresh dusting of snow over the last few days and a week of arctic temperatures, allowing maximum use of snow cannons, major ski areas across Europe are now well and truly open for the winter season and have welcomed their first influx of Christmas guests over the weekend.
It may not be quite the bumper start that we enjoyed last year - but there is snow down to low altitudes. Snow depths are not great right now - but they rarely are this early, and new snow is predicted during the course of this week.
Last week's temperatures plummeted to well below zero in most resorts. This week they are set to rise and fall again, bringing much more precipitation along the way. According to Netweather the week will start off cold, with snow on Monday evening. Temperatures will then rise on Tuesday, and snow will fall at higher altitudes. Wednesday and Thursday look snowy/rainy - with the freeze level varying from around 1200m to over 2000m. Christmas day looks set to be colder and with a good possibility of snow in the morning. So from the Pyrenees to the Alps it looks as though this week will be a mixed bag - but the chances of snow falling on Christmas Day look good.
Whether you're enjoying snow in the mountains or in your back garden (or not at all) we'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We hope to keep you updated well into 2010 of snow happenings, and bring you good tips and advice on enjoying the mountains. Merry Christmas everyone!