Weather Forecasts

I’ve just added some links ( to the right—> ) to the three main weather forecast websites I use to try and get a handle on what kind of weather we can expect in Lake Louise.

As mentioned, weather forecasting is a tricky business, and doubly so in the mountains. I’ve yet to find one single forecast that applies directly to Lake Louise. Instead, I use a combination of the three listed here to get as accurate as possible a picture of what’s to come.

Lake Louise sits in the Main Range of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and near the Continental Divide, which is also the dividing line between Banff and Yoho National Parks, as well as Alberta and British Columbia. We are in Banff National Park, but close to the western edge, and since most of our weather comes from the west and passes over Yoho National Park before reaching here, I find the Yoho weather forecast to be a better indication of what’s to come than the one for Banff. I’ll use both, but will give more weight to Yoho.

The forecast for Lake Louise from the Weather Network seems to be for the townsite in the valley bottom, so assuming the call for snow is accurate, one can expect snowfall amounts at the ski area to be greater than those on the forecast. I throw all three into the mix, weighted according to previous reliability, and voila – my very own Lake Louise skier’s weather forecast.

Finally, and to repeat, mountain weather forecasts (as many others) become notoriously less accurate the further ahead they try to predict, so I generally only go a day or two ahead. I’ve been disappointed too often in the past seeing a call for 25cm for a week away, only to have it change to partly cloudy by the time that day rolls around. Just today I saw a call for 15-20cm for next week changed to 5cm, and it’s still four or five days away. At the same time, we could experience one of those glorious moments when the snowfall amounts are underpredicted, and we get more than what was called for. There’s nothing better than waking up early one morning to find an unexpected foot of snow on your car !!

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