Nine out of 12 French Alps resorts that are popular with travellers from Britain are yet to start their seasons, including Grand-Montets at Chamonix and Meribel. Les Deux Alps, which opens almost 100 runs during high season, currently has just a dozen open for business.

The high temperatures – which have been up to 2.5C above normal in France – mean that even the snow-making machines used to improve skiing conditions are not working.

This time last year, almost all of the pistes in France were open.

France is the most popular country for Brit holidaymakers to ski, with around 400,000 flocking to the country’s slopes. A further 250,000 head for Austria, 150,000 to Italy, and 75,000 to Switzerland.

And it’s not just the French resorts that are struggling: the BBC reports that this autumn has been the driest on record for the Swiss.

Big resorts including St Moritz have only been able to open a couple of slopes thanks to snow cannons. Others have been forced to delay the start of the ski season.

The shortage of snow across the Alps has also affected Austria, spelling bad news for hoteliers, ski instructors and lift companies throughout the region.