Bogus Predictions of Snowless Winters Are Back …But Reality Tells Very Different Story!

Meteorologist Christian Zenkl: Winter temperatures in the Alps region have fallen about 1°C over past 30 years
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)

On September 16, 2015; Gernan public broadcaster Bayerischen Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting, or BR) announced:

Farewell to white winters
Light mist, no snow: It’s gotten warmer in Bavaria – and foremost in the winter and especially in the mountains. Already there is measureably less snow. Are our winters going to turn green? What does it all mean for the ski areas?”

But is this true? In the magazine GEO SAISON, 12/2015, Christian Zenkl, an independent meteorologist in Innsbruck, corrected the BR media error:

‘In the Alps region temperatures in the mountains have fallen about 1°C over the past 30 years. Because of the sunnier and warmer summers, the glaciers have lost mass and in total temperatures in the Alps have warmed. However winters have gotten somewhat colder. ‘There hasn’t been less snow,’ says Zenkl. To the contrary, there has been a positive trend starting at 1000 meters. Today from a strictly climatic view, snow-making cannons are not any more needed than they were 30 years ago.”

The expansion to 40,000 snow-making cannons is merely due to pure business reasons, e.g. extending the ski-season and competition between ski resorts. Data from the German DWD national weather service even confirm the winter season temperature cooling trend, even though you’ll never hear it from the DWD:

 Chart: German winters have cooled over the past. By Josef Kowatsch.

So what exactly is behind the dubious Bavarian Broadcasting report? It’s a good question for them. You might want to contact them!

20 responses to “Bogus Predictions of Snowless Winters Are Back …But Reality Tells Very Different Story!”

  1. yonason

    Schnee in die Schweiz?

    und ja.

    Aber, Ich ziehe es vor zu suchen

    We were there on our honeymoon in Autumn, 1978. It was cold, but fortunately no snow.

    1. yonason

      Oops, it’s “der,” not “die.” My German’s pretty rusty. Come to think of it, it always was.

    2. sod

      snow on the mountains in switzerland in January. A miracle must have occured!

      1. yonason

        “In the real world, those skiing resorts are in panic.” – (sod)
        “snow on the mountains in switzerland in January. A miracle must have occured! – (anti-sod)

        And in Germany, and France, and Italy, and . . . Did you notice that most of those ski resorts which according to you are “panicking” were open for business? If one’s booming business is “panicking” him, then he is in the wrong business.

        You can’t have it both ways, sod, though you and all your warmist pals do try so hard to panic people into believing all manner of nonsense.

  2. sod

    There should be plenty of business opportunities to invest into skiing, in a colder world.

    In the real world, those skiing resorts are in panic.

    They need early snow. they also need “permanent” snow. Glaciers are best, but even those are melting. In stark contrast to the numbers presented here.

    This report about Bavaria says about the opposite:

    1. DirkH

      sod 19. January 2016 at 11:20 PM | Permalink | Reply
      “They need early snow. they also need “permanent” snow. Glaciers are best, but even those are melting.”

      You… don’t… even…know… anything about skiing????

      1. sod

        “You… don’t… even…know… anything about skiing????”

        please educate me.

        I live in south Germany. we had a very warm december. and we have two local ski resorts: Black forest and swabian alb.

        There were interviews on the radio. what they said was simple: Their business is the early season, as people try their equipment for trips to the alps later. Basically snow after the Christmas holidays is useless to them and will not make them money.

        and the alps have a similar problem. If people are not in a winter mood, they wont book and they wont travel.

        you want them to book early, this basically means you have to guarantee snow.

        Lots of snow that melts fast again is not a business model for a ski resort.

        But please explain to me, how it really works!

  3. John F. Hultquist

    News in the USA carries stories of avalanches in Europe.
    I thought snow was required for these.

  4. David Johnson

    Data shows snow cover increasing at Swiss resorts from 1940 to the late 70s and then declining since then. Evidence of it’s cyclical behaviour and for the 1940-75 cooling period

  5. Keith Willshaw

    We see the same failures in the UK. Back in 2004 the Guardian predicted the imminent demise of the Scottish Ski Industry due to the absence of snow. They went on to write

    ‘But global warming may have its brighter side for the rest of Scotland’s tourism industry in future. “As Scotland has better summers and the Med gets too hot, the Scottish tourism industry should benefit in the summer months’

    I don’t see any signs that the jet set prefer the beaches at Dornoch to St Tropez at this point and the Scottish Ski Industry has expanded in recent years.

    1. The Indomitable Snowman, Ph.D.

      That “within ten years” thing has gotten to be a real disease.

      Want another one?

      Back in December 2006, the weather was unusually mild in the northeastern U.S. At that time, the android who is presently governor of Vermont (known more generally as “Peter Shumlin”) was a state senator. Given that mild spell, he was quite loud in announcing that the best scientists had assured him that it was absolutely settled sciency science that within ten years (there it is!), the climate zones would have shifted north by some 300 miles, Vermont winters would be like New Jersey winters had always been, and the Vermont ski industry would be kaput.

      Last winter, the Vermont ski industry set a record for the largest number of skier visits – ever.

      The “prediction” expires in about a year.

      No word yet on when the android is finally going to stop in to a service center for a long-overdue firmware update.

  6. roger

    Back in 2004 the Scottish landscapes and seascapes had not yet been industrialized.
    The road to the isles starting from Gretna is littered with turbines and no longer an attraction.
    None of them have turned this week by the way, just sit there in full view like jumbled meccano pieces strewn around by a spoilt petulant child.

  7. yonason

    “…spoilt petulant child.” roger

    That’s them ‘to a T’, with Al Gore as their poster boy and prophet of doom.

  8. Annie

    I remember poor snow and some bare hillsides in Niederau in Austria around Christmas 1971. Weren’t we supposed to be heading for an ice age at that time?

  9. Annie

    I see my email address had part of the address capitalised. Perhaps that was why my comment went into moderation? I’m on my old ‘phone so maybe that caused a problem! Sorry!

  10. Annie

    Ah…not that. It must be the rarity of my posting!

  11. yonason


    Forecasters are saying that it could be “one for the record books.”

    I wonder if ski slopes ever get snowed in?

    1. DirkH

      Travelling the length of Germany by train today. Everything’s white.
      Nice when you’re in a well heated train. Which I am.

  12. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #213 | Watts Up With That?

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