Bumping this partly to comment on the webcam image below, but also as many who don't visit during the summer and early autumn may have not seen the original Scotsman article or the digital version: [www.scotsman.com
One of the things touched on in the piece, and a significant factor in the dissertation that sparked this article is the role of aspect and vegetation in potentially mitigating the severity of thaw conditions. A small example of this is how despite a very mild and windy day, the sheltered grassy area opposite Mountain Spirit in Aviemore in the lee of the trees held on to it's thin dusting of snow throughout Wednesday:
Following the exceptionally mild autumn and zonal (though until now cool zonal) start to winter there has already been around 140hours of potential snow making at Glenmore this season on the basis of the start up wet bulb temperatures of the Ratnik Sky Giant VI guns referenced in the Scotsman article.
The wee dusting of snow in the middle of Aviemore may have gone by tomorrow, but with a high density modern snow making system, a 140hours of snow making would not be a wee dusting!
The strategic review of Scottish Snowsports published this summer suggests development of 'mini resorts' at the highest possible altitude to reduce weather dependency. However, the higher you go, the more days will be lost to weather, offsetting the advantage of more persistent snow cover.
But if modern snow making has the potential to lower the technical snow line into the Glens, then the exact opposite could increase resilience of snowsport operations. It's certainly food for thought.
 Scotsman link now fixed for new site.
Edited 1 times. Last edit at 23.56hrs Wed 21 Dec 11 by alan.