There isn’t much in the way of winter fun happening on southern Quebec’s ice rinks or hill sides.
The lack of snow and unseasonably warm weather has left much of the region with a green Christmas, but some Montreal-area ski hills seem to be getting by, despite the snowless holidays.
“Its not a question of what is happening in your backyard,” said Michel Couture, president and owner of Ski Saint-Bruno on Mont Saint-Bruno.
“It’s really knowing that the industry of Quebec has a massive snow-making system.”
Even though Environment Canada reported only 33 mm of precipitation in the month of December, Couture says November’s early snowfall, coupled with below-freezing temperatures, have allowed the South Shore mountain to have a successful season thus far.
Couture says Saint-Bruno has been creating its own snow in abundance.
“It’s man-made snow,” he said. “I would even tell you it’s even better than the natural snow.”
Environment Canada meteorologist Ivan Dubé, meanwhile, says bad weather is on the way.
“We could get anything this time of year, and freezing rain events are common, especially during the holidays, it seems,” Dubé said.
After issuing a freezing rain warning for the Montreal area was issued Thursday, rain and warmer temperatures are now expected throughout the week and into the weekend, according to Dubé.
That spells potentially bad news for ski hill operators. Mont Saint-Bruno was forced to close last year due dangerous ski conditions generated by rain.
However, Couture says he is confident and optimistic the rain will not damage his bottom line this year.
“We make a lot of snow, so it’s not a concern even if it rains, or whatever happens with mother nature,” Couture said.
“It gives us a lot of work, but the ski conditions are really good.”