Those willing to brave the cold were rewarded last weekend when Whitewater opened amid record low temperatures.

Cold snap makes for good Canadian-style coffee talk

A cold snap that hit our region last week had people scrambling for the long underwear...

A cold snap that hit our region last week had people scrambling for the long underwear, rushing to flood outdoor rinks and talking about the weather with hands wrapped around hot drinks.

Ron Lakeman, weather forecaster at the Southeast Fire Centre in Castlegar explained the cold snap was a result of an arctic air mass that made its way west of the Rockies — something that doesn’t frequently happen.

“It’s a bubble of cold air… that originated up in the Yukon,” he said. “Bubbles of cold air make their way down and usually the Rocky Mountains will protect us. It will all be deflected to the east.”

In this case, the storm track pushed this bubble from Alberta into Southern BC something that hasn’t happened since January (-19.5) and February (-19.7) in 2011.

“We haven’t seen a true Arctic outbreak for a couple of years,” he said.

Cold weather started to move in December 3 and the coldest days hit just as Whitewater Ski Resort opened its hill — last Friday and Saturday. Lakeman says the coldest temperatures recorded at their Castlegar station were -17.7, a record for December 7 and 8. The previous records for those dates were -16.3 in 2009 and -17.2 in 1972 respectively.

Up at the hill, Rebeckah Hornung, sales and marketing director for Whitewater Ski Resort relayed long-time general manager Kirk Jensen’s perception that “it was the coldest that he’s ever recalled with temperatures between -18 and -24 degrees.

“And it was the first time we ever delayed opening our lifts due to cold temperatures,” she said.

When temperatures fall too low, it’s dangerous to have people on lifts in case they malfunction and skiers become stuck.

“It’s just for the safety of our guests,” she said. Lift delays were brief and skiers hit the lodge for a hot drink while they waited.

Hornung knows there were some people that were turned away from opening weekend due to cold weather but she said those diehards who came and “persevered just had more great snow to themselves.”

“The snow is excellent,” she said. “When it’s cold like this it sucks all the moisture out of the snow and it’s dry and light. Anyone up there over the weekend will understand — it’s snow that just floats through the air.”

With temperatures warming up this week, the hill is sure to be busy with folks heading up. Hornung said Glory Bowl officially opens Friday.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

The Regional District of Central Kootenay is no fan of the provincial STEP Code. File photo
RDCK board encouraged to ‘STEP’ forward with building code

RDCK directors have twice delayed adopting STEP Code standards

SD8 students can learn more about Métis culture, history, and language by participating in a variety of educational initiatives this month. Photo: Submitted
SD8 celebrates Métis Awareness Month

The district has a number of events planned in November

Numbers indicate positive COVID-19 tests, January through September. Map: BC Centre for Disease Control
Twenty-five cases of COVID-19 reported in Nelson, Castlegar and Trail in 2020

New data from the BC Centre for Disease Control shows numbers of cases per community

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

An elderly woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past an advertisement for a television series in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. has been under a COVID-19 state of emergency for more than half the year

Province has been under a state of emergency for 32 weeks – and counting

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

Most Read