Upslope

Anyone who’s been around the Bow Valley long enough knows what an upslope storm is – it’s when a system comes from the east, rather than from the west/southwest like it does 95% of the time. An upslope system is usually characterized by huge snowflakes, among other things, and when I woke up this morning in Banff to see these large flakes blowing around, and when I heard reports that highways around Airdrie were closed, I was pretty sure we were in the middle of one.

The big question for skiers when there’s an upslope is: How far west is this going? As I drove out of Banff heading to Lake Louise, the huge flakes and blowing wind made driving a serious adventure, as visibility was close to zero. Shortly after passing Castle Junction, the intensity eased off a bit, and I wondered if Lake Louise was going to benefit from the snowfall.

When I arrived at work, there was about 5cm of new snow on the ground at the base area, and the snow is still falling as of 0730, and is expected to continue into the afternoon, although not in huge amounts. The mountain-top temperature has dropped 10C in two hours (!), and currently sits around -20C. The wind is just starting to blow in from the northeast, so if you’re coming to enjoy the new snow, don’t forget to dress warm!

Lake Louise - 0830 Thursday

Lake Louise - 0830 Thursday

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