Fernie Alpine Resort opens for winter on Saturday, December 1. Source: Facebook

Mild winter warnings ahead of Fernie Alpine Resort opening

El Niño to bring warm weather to Western Canada this winter: Environment and Climate Change Canada

Elk Valley skiers and snowboarders could be stripping off the layers a little earlier this season as Environment and Climate Change Canada warns of a warmer than average winter.

This is partly due to a weather-producing phenomena called El Niño, the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation that is linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific.

Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist said there are a combination of factors at play.

“This winter we’re thinking is going to be El Niño, which tends to give Western Canada warmer weather than usual,” he said.

“(The) second reason is the waters of the Pacific, the eastern Pacific just off the coast of B.C., are quite warm right now and that’s where our storms tend to come from, so that will likely add heat to the systems.

“The third thing is the southern Arctic towards Alaska; the ocean is still pretty open and it’s usually more ice covered so these three things are all lending to the possibility or likelihood that winter will be warmer than average for Western Canada or at least for B.C.

However, this doesn’t mean there won’t be powder days or the occasional cold snap in the Elk Valley.

“(Snowfall) entirely depends on storms and the events we get, so if we get lots of winter storms that track close by to Fernie we’ll get lots of snow… regardless of how warm the winter it is,” said Lundquist.

“Precipitation is really unforecastable beyond a week or 10 days.”

His predictions come ahead of the opening of Fernie Alpine Resort (FAR) this weekend.

The resort has moved opening day from November 30 to December 1, despite recent snowfall.

As of Monday, FAR had received 34cm over the past week, bringing the season total to 133cm.

Environment and Climate Change Canada was expecting more snow early in the week as a tropical moisture-bearing system hit the coast and southern B.C.

Powder hounds hoping for fresh snow on opening weekend could be disappointed.

“There’s not too much going on after this system passes,” said meteorologist Bobby Sekhon on Monday.

“We’re actually going to get into some fairly dry periods, we’re not expecting any real precipitation until maybe a slight chance on about Friday or so.”

Just Posted

Kootenay-Columbia MP talks throne speech, USMCA trade deal

Rob Morrison to open constituency office in Cranbrook at 800C Baker St. on Dec. 19

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to leader’s surprise resignation

The resignation of Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer caught members of his caucus by surprise

UPDATED: Highway 3 east of Elko down to single lane traffic

Highway 3, three kilometres east of the Elko Tunnel is closed in… Continue reading

Season opener for Fernie Snowmobile Association

It wasn’t exactly prime snowmobiling weather on Saturday as the Fernie Snowmobile… Continue reading

UPDATED: Traffic incident on Highway 3 south of Fernie Alpine Resort

At approximately 3:00 pm on December 11, DriveBC reported an incident three… Continue reading

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Owner surrenders dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage to BC SPCA

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

Most Read