Avoid Travel – Snowfall Warning Issued For Highway 3

A warning for snowfall has been issued for West Kootenay and the Boundary areas. Environment Canada says a damp Pacific frontal system is moving through the Southern Interior of British Columbia, and is predicting twenty to thirty centimeters of snow along certain sections of Highway 3. Exclusively, the warning is for Paulson Summit, which has an elevation of 1,446 meters, to the Kootenay Pass, which has an elevation of 1,781 meters.

The national weather service, in its warning, said that “With snow levels around the 1,200 meter mark, Kootenay Pass has observed ten to fifteen centimeter of accumulation by now, and further ten to fifteen centimeter is anticipated. The levels of snow will go up above the Kootenay Pass summit after midnight tonight, at which time the snow will switch over to rain.”

“Travel is highly not recommended. Visibility may be, all of a sudden, decreased at times in heavy snow,” added Environment Canada.

On the other hand, for a few in Calgary, the snow may have arrived very soon, with the 1st dusting hitting Alberta, however, for a few ski hills, the snow is a blessing and giving some businesses an immense boost. At Nakiska Ski Area, snowmaking is already underway. 30 snow guns run day and night, and the area got some help from the skies in recent times. The base got more than 25 centimeters freshly, as per the ski area.

General Manager of Nakiska said the early snowfall is both a gift for the hills and for skiers and snowboarders. He said the snowfall was unusual and was one of their earlier starts to the snowmaking season. He further said that “We got extremely lucky for the reason that Mother Nature gave us some snow and gave us some cold weather.”

The cooler temperatures made for the ideal circumstances to start up the snow guns. The fresh powder blending with the man-made snow makes for a better ski hill, he added. He said, “This was a very serious cold spell: -16 C at night and -6 C now, which is good. Natural snow mixes very well with man-made snow and it makes the skiing and snowboarding much better.”

The officials hinted that even though Nakiska is projected to officially open the 1st weekend of November, however, with the additional dusting of snow and cooler temperatures, the opening date could be earlier. The general manager said that “It has to do with not jinxing the entire thing. I think this year there will be a nice surprise for the public but I will not tell you when.”

At Mount Norquay, officials are even looking at the skies as well, hoping the cooler temperatures keep on. The ski area hopes to start making snow in the coming days, weather permitting, and is aiming to open the 1st week of November. The snow surely gets us excited. Our staff are chomping at the bit to get going, that is for sure,” said Simon Moffatt, director sales and marketing with Mount Norquay.