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Warm heat reduces snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere to almost record low levels.

Northern Hemisphere snow cover is near historical lows for midwinter. Pulses of record-warmth in North America and Europe have thwarted snow accumulation. Lack of snow has forced some ski resorts in Europe to close, while many areas in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S. have less terrain open. Parts of Europe are seeing record warmth and not enough snow. Climate change is making swings in snow cover more significant, forecasters say.

Half of the ski slopes in France’s Alps are closed. Austria and Switzerland have also been hit hard by unseasonably warm weather.