Snow won’t be back soon
Weather forecast suggests any evidence of Friday’s snowfall will be gone today
Friday morning’s snow was short-lived, but, to borrow a famous line from the hit TV show Game of Thrones, it’s a reminder that “winter is coming.”
“It was a short-burst, higher-intensity snow event from a low-pressure, cold front that came through from northwest B.C. that deposited one to two centimetres at most on the (Okanagan) valley bottom,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Bobby Sekhon.
“But, it didn’t stick. The ground isn’t frozen yet and the temperature was hovering around zero, so it melted pretty quickly.”
In fact, roads were wet, rather than snowy, by the time most motorists started their morning commutes.
And any snow that fell later Friday arrived as big, fat, wet flakes that melted on contact with the ground.
It’s normal to get the first snow of the season in early November. But it’s usually a sprinkling that melts in the following milder weather.
That moderating high-pressure system is already here.
This weekend, daytime highs will climb to 5 C and overnight lows will be -2 C, with no snow in the forecast.
“By Sunday and Monday, the highpressure ridge should settle in to give us the valley cloud and fog we’re so well known for in the winter,” said Sekhon.
Of course, at higher elevations, it’s been snowing for weeks.
There already has been havoc a couple of times on the Okanagan Connector and Coquihalla highways with snow, slush and poor visibility contributing to crashes.
Time to get the snow tires on your car if you haven’t done so already.
Area ski resorts are already counting the centimetres of the white stuff.
At Big White, east of Kelowna, five centimetres on Friday took the snow base up to 70 centimetres and the temperature was -4 C.
It positions the resort well to open for business on Nov. 22 for American Thanksgiving.
There will be a party to mark the occasion from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the base of the Ridge Rocket Express lift with hot chocolate, giveaways and resort mascots Loose Moose and Lucy Moose doing the snow dance.
The frozen precipitation is just what Big White needs, not just for opening, but for the Hallmark TV movie Snow Princess, which starts shooting at the resort in a few days.
Big White’s epic snow is also featured on the front cover of the current issue of Ski, the biggestselling ski and snowboard magazine in the world, with 1.5 million readers.
A shot of skier Geoff Holman by photographer Todd Avison on a steep slope framed by snow-covered trees illustrates the North America’s best resorts issue, which also includes Banff and Magic Mountain in Vermont.
Big White is also investing $10 million in four buildings with 192 beds for staff accommodation.
There’s a housing crunch on the mountain, with chalet and condominium owners who might regularly rent their units to staff for the season opting for nightly rentals on Airbnb instead.
Big White also owns or leases other buildings that provide another 206 beds for staff.
In all, Big White employs more than 1,000 during peak winter season.
Silver Star Mountain Resort near Vernon is getting ready for opening day Nov. 22 with five centimetres of new snow bringing its base up to 55 centimetres.
Apex Resort near Penticton won’t open till Dec. 8. It has four centimetres of new snow on 22 centimetres of cumulative snowfall so far this season.
Reporter Steve MacNaull’s new-driver daughter, Grace, wasn’t impressed with Friday morning’s first snowfall of the season.