Ski resorts seeing perfect conditions despite warm weather in Calgary

Click to play video: 'Calgary golfers return for December round as mountain resorts welcome snow'
Calgary golfers return for December round as mountain resorts welcome snow
WATCH: Concerns over a warm, dry season continue in Calgary as El Nino brings changes to the start of winter. As Doug Vaessen reports, it's a much different story is underway in the mountain parks. – Dec 4, 2023

Many ski resorts are seeing perfect conditions for winter sports despite warm weather in Calgary this December.

An atmospheric river is expected to bring tropical moisture from Hawaii into B.C. Monday. The heaviest precipitation will fall mainly on Vancouver Island, with 100 millimetres possible in some areas. Around 10 centimetres are forecast to fall on Alberta’s mountain parks on Tuesday.

In Calgary, some scattered showers could be seen on Monday afternoon and into the evening. The foothills may also see 90 km/h gusts of wind Monday night as the atmospheric river creates strong winds while also boosting temperatures.

According to Environment Canada, Calgary will see a high of 16 C with a low of 1 C on Tuesday.

“Typically when we get an El Nino pattern it pushes moisture into B.C. through an atmospheric river, which acts like a conveyor belt and is great for our Rockies,” said Tiffany Lizee, Global Calgary’s chief meteorologist.

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“It does bring them some snowfall. But then we get a lot more chinooks on our side of the mountains which brings us warmer temperatures and dryer conditions (in Calgary).”

The weather is so warm that the City of Calgary said it isn’t expecting to exceed its snow budget for the year.

“We have been focusing on things like potholes. We have been doing some street sweeping, things like that.  Things that we may not be able to do with snow on the grounds,” said Chris McGeachy, a communications strategist for the City of Calgary Roads.

“Our annual snow budget is $54 million and that runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. Up until November, we spent about $30 million, leaving about $24 million.

“If we do have money left over, that money is put into a reserve. Now where that budget goes, it goes to people, budget and materials.”

Maple Ridge and Shaganappi golf courses are also opening tomorrow dependant on the weather, a first in Calgary.

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Despite the warm conditions in Calgary, some ski resorts are seeing a good amount of snow.

Matt Mosteller of Resorts of the Canadian Rockies said it’s perfect skiing weather for resorts such as Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and Nakiska Ski Area.

“Within a short distance, the weather can change … While it might be warm in Calgary, it can be snowy and cool, perfect for skiing in the Rocky Mountains,” he told Global News.

“Things are changing, no doubt, but when the weather systems are coming in they’re much more intense.  If you happen to be in those areas where those intense storms with the right temperatures a bunch of snow can fall really quickly.”

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