Big Snow on the Way to Lake Louise?

Not just big, but really big, according to the computer models used by our avalanche control department.

Avalanche forecasters at Lake Louise use a number of different models from different sources when trying to come up with an accurate view of what weather is headed our way. Like any forecasts, there’s always a margin for error, sometimes much wider than others. Along with the models we use, one can find critiques of these models, and they don’t always agree with what the models are saying.

This time, however, there seems to be widespread agreement that a significant storm has just hit the B.C. coast and will arrive over the Great Divide around lunchtime today (Sunday), and will continue overnight and into tomorrow. One of the more difficult components of weather to forecast is precipitation amounts, so there are varying opinions as to how much this area will receive. However, the most conservative of these forecasts is calling for 30cm of snow, while others are predicting up to 55cm.

Exactly how much snow falls in Lake Louise remains to be seen, but confidence is high that we’ll get lots, and skiers who hit the slopes Monday and Tuesday will find out exactly how much.



UPDATE: Started snowing at Lake Louise shortly after 9:00am – ahead of schedule!



9 Comments on “Big Snow on the Way to Lake Louise?”

  1. Graeme says:

    Hey, this sounds great, but why is there such a big discepancy between what you say here and what is on I dont know the terrain there too well, so how much of the 30-55cm do you think might fall in bounds? Thanks!

    • lakelouiselowdown says:

      Hi Graeme,

      Can’t explain the discrepancy that may exist between one forecast or another. Some are better than others, but none are always right. Predicting snowfall amounts is far from an exact science, so what I take from forecasts like this is confidence that it will snow, and less how much snow there will be. When more than one agency has the same prediction, then I raise my confidence accordingly, rather than sticking too closely to amounts.

      Hope that helps!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Doug Symington and Lake Louise Ski Area, Sno'n'Ski . Sno'n'Ski said: RT @SkiLouise: Big snow on the way? Get the Lowdown on what's being predicted. […]

  3. Rick says:

    We were in the parks on the week-end, and this predicted snowfall didn’t materialize as advertised on Environment Canada on Saturday (by noon), Saturday (overnight), or Sunday (by noon). In fact, we were struck by how much sun was shining both days. Now it looks like it hasn’t materialized overnight Sunday either.

    I know forecasting is tough, but wow, that’s just bad.

    • CamRN says:

      I was really hoping for some 30+ of snow too. The 8cm that Lake Louise is reporting Monday morning is barely worth getting out of bed for. Guess you better check those computer models, maybe forgot to carry over a decimal?

      • lakelouiselowdown says:

        It’s too bad you think 8cm is not worth getting out of bed for. If you know Lake Louise you know that 8cm at our plot means more in other places, and can make for superb conditions, especially on top of the already great skiing we have here. As for the models we use, they come from other agencies, and were all in agreement, resulting in the higher confidence. We’re still trying to find the forecast model that will always be correct, but until then, we’re at the mercy of the weather.

        Have a good sleep.

      • Chunk says:

        I’ve seen a 5cm report, turn into amazing backside skiing. Saturday was an example 8cms overnight, but the skiing was shin to knee deep in spots. Today will be fantastic skiing. I was talking to Rocket last night and said it could be an “either/or” situation. You guys do an awesome job up there. Much appreciated Chris!!

    • lakelouiselowdown says:

      Hi Rick,

      You’re not the only one who’s disappointed, especially when it seemed as though everyone agreed we’d get much more snow than we did! That’s mountain weather for you…

      • Rick says:

        I’m sure it was a great day up there. We decided to go to Nakiska and avoid the longer drive; had there been much more at the Lake we’d be pulling out of the parking lot there now. It was a great day, cold though, but a little freshening up over top of the corduroy made for some quad busting carving.
        I think it’s going to be an awesome remainder of the season – we’ve got two weeks off at the end of this month and we’re spending it all on some sort of sticks skiing places between Banff and Field!!!

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