snow and mountains

Climate

Whistler owes much of its credit as a vacationers paradise to its climate.

In the winter month’s intense storms roll in off the coast and bury the mountains with an average snowfall of over 10 metres (30 feet). By May spring has arrived in the valley bottom and trees and flowers alike start to bloom. Soon the snow that blanketed the ski runs has melted and by June most of the low elevation hiking and biking trails are snow free. However the snow that buried the high alpine meadows and peaks does not typically recede enough for hiking until the start of July. By this time the days are usually long and hot with temperatures reaching above 30°c. As the snow recedes in the alpine the first wild flowers start to bloom and within weeks the alpine is covered in a myriad of colour. Throughout May and June the weather patterns come in thirds with one third of the time being warm and sunny, one third overcast and cooler and one third being cold and wet. While July can still be the victim of intense storm cycles they are generally short with warmer, dryer air being the norm for most of the month.

By August the weather patterns start to become more stable with warm, dry air tending to dominate until late September. This is the best time to enjoy the alpine as the bugs have usually left and the trails are snow free and dry.As September approaches the days become noticeably shorter and the lengthening nights get cooler. The start of September usually marks the first frost in the alpine and by late September frost has reached the valley. Snow is now not far away and come any time between September and October. It comes first in trace amounts left by short storms. Then as November approaches strong Pacific storms set in over the mountains obscuring the peaks for days on end.

Winter is finally here again and by the end of November skiers are gracing the local mountains again.

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