Winter 2021-22 Snow Forecast for Western Canada
Snorkel and skis at the ready, we know you’re chomping at the bit for that pow day escape. You want to rise early to hear the weather forecasters in Western Canada trot out their tired homilies about blizzards, bundling up, driving conditions and hot chocolate.
Forget the morning commute, all we need to know is: where and when do we go to hit the snow?
For that, we’ve consulted The Old Farmer’s Almanac, our crystal ball and Ullr, to help you get ahead on planning your snowy adventures for the 2021-22 season.
Here’s the big picture: this year a prevailing weak La Nina or “cold event” will exert its influence on North American weather. Don’t know what that is, or how it works? Here’s an explainer from the U.S. National Ocean Service, for us amateur weather nerds (fist bump!).
More importantly, how is La Nina going to affect snowfall in BC and Alberta? The Farmers Almanac’s extended winter weather forecast says even though this year’s event is a weak one we should expect less than average snowfall overall. That said, there will still be opportunities to score the goods.
Find out when your favourite AB and BC ski resorts are opening for 2021-22 - and read on to start planning your next pow-chasing adventure.
Here’s the outlook, region by region.
For the Pacific Northwest: Whistler, coastal BC and Vancouver Island
According to the Almanac, the Pacific Northwest will experience the coldest periods in the last half of December into early January. The snowiest periods will occur in late December and early March.
Sounds like Christmas and spring skiing to us! Time to book that holiday chateau, or plan a #SkiNorthBC roadtrip.
For central BC and western Alberta
The Almanac is predicting a warmer winter for the interior and Alberta too but we can expect early snowfalls to hopefully set a base for the season. Late December and January should bring in a few powder days.
Better plan on a few (ahem!) sick days then. Take a little inspiration from our #SkiNorthAB adventures, with nordic skiing, downhill riding, ice fishing, snowmobiling and more on the menu.
Beyond the west: Northern Canada and Atlantic Canada
Northern and Atlantic Canada may be the snow hot spots for 2021-22. The Almanac predicts above average seasonal snowfall for these regions, and there’s potential for a series of storm cycles to sock in Atlantic Canada from mid-December to late January.
So if you’ve dreamed of skiing in the land of the midnight sun, or carving the streets of St. John’s, this may be the year. Even when winter is at its worst (best?) there’s always a way to turn the situation positive, as many Maritimers did in 2020, shown in this CBC video.
Keep your eye on the spring forecast!
Even if your regional forecast doesn’t look promising for early season, remember that what you do in November and December pays off in February and March. And if the La Nina lingers into spring as predicted, there will be killer days of delicious spring skiing and snowboarding across all our favourite slopes. That means you can don your Hawaiian shirt without worrying about freezing your palm trees off!