On all mountain ranges the snowpack is below average beginning of April. However the conditions for skiing are still alright in the Northern Alps where snow is present in North facing slopes from 1100 to 1500 m. The Southern Alps have the poorest conditions, the snow line on North Facing Slopes is about 1700 m in the Hautes-Alpes and rosing to 2200 m in the Alpes-Maritimes. On the southern slopes the snow was less resilient during the mild and sunny days of March, the limits of snow are 400-600 m higher than the north side.
In the Pyrenees as in Corsica, the existing deficit persists. There is snow from 1800 m in the north aspects and south-facing slopes have no snow to 2100 m at least.
Snow has disappeared from the Vosges and covers only sheltered areas at the top of Jura and Massif Central.
The snow falling in these first days of April will barely change the situation
March has been stingy with snow and the weather sunny and remarkably mild giving a very spring feel to the snowpack, including a very marked difference between snow on shaded and sunny slopes.
At the beginning of April, small snowfalls have occured above 2000 m. The snowline in northern slopes is around 1100/1200 m in Haute-Savoie, between 1300 and 1500 m in the rest of the Northern Alps.
At all altitudes, snow cover is well below normal, the deficit is usually between -30% and -50% (lower deficit, however, at high altitudes). The snow depth are:
- 1500 m: 60 to 80 cm in North Slope in general, but only 40 to 50 cm in the Maurienne mountains, the Grandes Rousses, the Vercors and Oisans, and even 0 cm in Haute-Maurienne; no snow on the southern slopes in all ranges;
- 2000 m: often between 1.50 m and 1.80 m in the north side, but 1 m to 1.30 m in the Vanoise, Maurienne and Isere mountains, and only 50 cm Haute-Maurienne, from 40 to 60 cm in general on the southern slopes, but only 10 to 30 cm in the Isere ranges, and 0cm in the Oisans;
- 2500 m: 2.40 m to 2.70 m in the northern slopes of the Haute-Savoie and the north of tje Savoie, 1.50 m to 2 m elsewhere; 1m to 1.60m on the southern slopes in Savoie, just 30 to 80 cm in the Isère.
The lack of snow is very severe, especially in the south. It is between -40% and -60% in the north of the Hautes-Alpes, between -70% and -90% in the rest of the Southern Alps.
The limit of the snow lies between 1700 and 1900 m on north aspects in the Hautes-Alpes, between 2000 and 2200 m elsewhere. In southern slope, it is between 2300 and 2500 m.
Snow depths are as follows:
- 2000 m: on north aspects, from 30 to 50 cm in the Hautes-Alpes, Ubaye 10 cm and 0 cm in the Alpes-Maritimes, on southern slopes, there is no snow;
- 2500 m: on north aspects, 1 m to 1.10 m in the mountains of Tabor and Pelvoux, from 70 to 80 cm in the other massifs of the Hautes-Alpes, 50 cm in Ubaye and 20 to 25 cm in massive Alpes-Maritimes.
The snow cover is also very deficient (deficit of between -50% and -75% depending on altitude and the mountains). The few small snowfalls that occur in early April at 2000-2200 m above do not change the situation.
The limit of the snow is about 1800 m on northern slope, 2200 m on the southern slopes.
At 2000 m, there are 45 to 60 cm of snow in the northern side, while there is no snow on the southern slopes.
Small snowfalls in recent days have not significantly altered the landscape, the last major event occurred on 21, 22 and 23 March. In this episode, the snowpack has gained more than a meter of snow on the Canigou and 30 to 50 cm over the entire chain. The snow melted on the sunny slopes and is packed at altitude.
However, there is snow in North aspects from 1700/1800 m in valleys that are sometimes very well covered but southern slopes are snow free below 2,100 m. The automatic station at the Lacs d’Ardiden (Hautes-Pyrenees, 2400 m) currently shows 1.50 m of snow, which is below average, of around 2.10 m at this time of the years.
The snow cover is generally deficient and reflects the low rainfall this winter in the Pyrenees. Actual conditions of snow are comparable to those found on average in early May. But the situation may improve with snowfall announced for the coming days.
Vosges, Jura, Massif Central
There are no more snow on the Vosges.
In the Jura a small layer persists, mainly above 1200 m north slope and in forested areas.
The Massif Central, the snow is only present on the peaks above 1500m where there are 20 to 30 cm in shaded area.