As snow falls in Japan and the western half of North America, other regions haven’t been so lucky. Substantial snow is yet to arrive across much of Europe, and the situation isn’t much better in the north east of the USA.

As this story by Camila Domonoske from NPR shows, the lack of snow has an economic impact, as well as causing misery for skiers and riders.

The holidays are usually a busy time on the slopes, but unseasonably warm weather this month is wreaking havoc on ski resorts — and skiers’ plans — in the Midwest and Northeast.

Ski resorts in New York and Pennsylvania are assuring would-be visitors that they’re ready to make snow “in a moment’s notice” as soon as cold weather returns. But there’s no getting around that at the moment, there’s simply no snow to be had.

Resorts are having to think beyond the slopes. At least one has actually brought back its summer activities — normally unavailable at this time of year — for the Christmas season.”

Let’s hope the season picks up across the northern hemisphere after Christmas.

Every autumn I get anxious about what the winter will be like. I can’t help but see these poor seasons as being the type of future we face here in Australia, where we have low altitudes and relatively low latitudes. All the more reason to do something serious about climate change.