Italian Police on Trail of Glacier Thieves
Italy (Snow24) --Italian media has reported that a special police unit has been set up to try to trace a group of thieves reportedly offering snow to hard-pressed European ski areas at about €918 ($800) a truckload. The snow thieves have reportedly removed the snow from glaciers.
Parts of the Alps have been suffering their most disastrous winter for many seasons, although conditions are patchy with large sections of the Austrian and French Alps receiving adequate to healthy falls. Most of Austria in particular is reporting a "good year" publicly at least with 90% of accommodations saying bookings are up. Resorts that can genuinely report good conditions, independently verified, are frequently packed to capacity.
Warm temperatures which have meant precipitation that would normally be snow falling as rain, combined with frontal systems generating strong winds rather than steady snow showers are part of the problem. Another factor is the generally limited to non-existent snow-making, with many of the systems that are in place unable to operate anyway because of the unseasonably warm weather.