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Ski Season Forecast: Banner year for many Canadian ski hills

Monday, November 30th 2020, 6:43 am - Here is a look at The Weather Network’s forecast for Canadian ski hills this winter.

Two unofficial winter forecast sponsors, La Niña and an active east coast storm parade, are setting the stage for a solid ski season coast-to-coast across Canada.


Although temperatures will likely feel quite frigid at times, La Niña tilts the dice towards a snowier winter for the ski hills perched across the higher terrain of British Columbia and Alberta.


Visit our Complete Guide to Winter 2021 for an in depth look at the Winter Forecast, Canada's ski season, and tips to plan for everything ahead!

Don't let this stagnant early December pattern fool you: the gift of champagne powder, the highest quality powder, is on the way from Mt. Washington, Vancouver Island to Lake Louise, Alberta.

This year has been anything but typical and predictable, but as meteorologists, we have to put some weight in the blossoming La Niña pattern. This suggests an excellent and extended ski season on average this year.



Severe cold. A persistent chill is forecast to bring dangerous wind chills to the majority of ski resorts this year. Inland ski resorts may be susceptible to wind chill values in the -30 and -40's at times.

Snow totals could also be exceptionally high for some locations. Just don't expect ski lift attendants to be digging out the chairlift chairs (yes, that's happened), so the chairlift can continue to carry skiers up the snowy slopes. Take a look back to Mt. Washington’s 2010-2011 ski season, which saw nearly 20 metres of snowfall.

Guess what? That was a La Niña year as well.



A little more of a wildcard is eastern Canada, but we'll be off to a roaring start. The active storm track will be a staple for these ski hills and the uncertainty between the rain and snow line could be razor-thin.


Most of the resorts will likely avoid the worst of the fluctuating freezing levels that come with frequent low-pressure systems.

There's some worry about hills like Ontario’s Blue Mountain and Ski Wentworth in Atlantic Canada, but here's hoping they remain on the cold side of the low more often than not.


Ski resorts in Quebec could do quite well based on our eastern Canada snow forecast. For those who prefer temperatures to be on the milder side for skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling, this might be the winter for you in eastern Canada.

But beware, there's a dangerous drawback. Volatile ice conditions will persist on inland lakes, as a frequent freeze-thaw cycle and lack of extended, persistent cold will tend to make ice conditions unsafe.


Thumbnail credit: PEXELS/Visit Almaty

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