After years of slow starts and disappointing snow coverage, 2016 has offered a promising start to the ski seasons. Following a significant amount of snowfall in the Alps in early November, European ski resorts have opened earlier than expected.

Having already received up to 75 cm of snow, with more expected to come in following weeks, some of the ski resorts in December have begun formal operation weeks before their announced opening. According to a report by The Times, 2016 has experienced the best November snowfall in 20 years, thus leading to the best early season skiing.

The dropping temperatures and continuous snow have allowed higher altitude resorts such as the Alpe d'Huez in France to open three weeks ahead of schedule. Despite the announced full opening on December 3, the resort has benefitted from the heavy snow coverage by making the resort open during weekends.

Several resorts from all over Europe have also benefitted from the early snowfall by opening their resorts early. Italy, Norway and Austria already are some of the many European countries that have great ski resorts open in November. However, it is worth noting that resorts will be limiting visitors until their formal openings in December.

Sources at The Telegraph have stated that the cold weather and heavy snowfall will be highly beneficial for ski resorts while making more snow. This artificial snow will be used to allow continuous resort operations well into the month of May.

According to Paul Wisely from the weather forecasting site, Weather 2, skiers and snowboarders are not expected to arrive until the announced season. However, the early snowfall will make the formation of the slope bases and runs much more efficient.

Wisely also states that the natural precipitation means fewer expenses for ski resorts. The heavy snowfall allows ski resorts to reduce their artificial snow creation and maintenance expenses.

Due to the snowfall and early openings, it is expected that the amount of ski resort visitors will increase during this ski season. Sources also predict that resorts may begin offering better rates and package due to the advantageous natural snowfall this year.