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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Default Mountain weather forecasts

I know I'm probably asking for the impossible here, but does anyone know of a particular forecaster/website that has any clue what will be happening in Kananaskis/Banff weather-wise?? I'm trying to plan for tomorrow, and as always Environment Canada is calling for "40 percent chance of flurries early in the morning. Wind becoming west 20 km/h late in the afternoon" (http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/city/..._metric_e.html), yet the Kananaskis avalanche report is calling for 20+cm of snow and strong winds causing rising avalanche risks (http://tpr.alberta.ca/parks/kananask...ntryreport.asp)!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 06:29 PM
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I find that snow-forecast.com seems to be pretty accurate these days... not sure if they have enough detail for your area though:
http://www.snow-forecast.com/maps/dynamic/bcol

-Ryan
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 07:34 PM
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Try snow-forecast's sister site, mountain-forecast. Generally pretty accurate a day or two out, this winter has been pretty unpredictable beyond that though (across the board).

http://www.mountain-forecast.com/pea...forecasts/2000
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Andrew Strain

Try snow-forecast's sister site, mountain-forecast. Generally pretty accurate a day or two out, this winter has been pretty unpredictable beyond that though (across the board).

http://www.mountain-forecast.com/pea...forecasts/2000
Great site, like the projections for freezing level and general snow conditions. Gives a good idea of what to expect and plan. Of course forecast could be way off the mark; but recently these have been reasonably accurate.

K
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 08:54 AM
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Are there any web-cams in your area? I always prefer ground-truth to prognostications. I realize that won't help with planning, but at least you can check conditions before you set out. For example, the one on Brohm ridge at 1400 m is useful for hikes north of Vancouver.

http://www.btsc.ca/NetCamImg/WCSnow.jpg
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 04:46 PM
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There's a whole thread with links to Rocky Mountain webcams. The closest one is at the Peter Lougheed Visitor Centre.

I think a big problem is that the Rockies just have a ton of micro-climates in each valley. With forecasts only for Banff, 'Bow Valley', and Nakiska Ridgetop, you're left to make up your own guesses on the Spray/Smith-Dorrien Valley or the Lakes region.
Basically, there just isn't a forecast, and you'll have to expect everything and anything. I'd tend to plan for snow in the Smith-Dorrien, cloudy with sunny breaks in the Kananaskis Lakes, cloud with a couple flurries in the lower Kananaskis Vally (S of Kidd), and a dry mix of sun and cloud in the upper Kananaskis Valley. Meanwhile the Bow Valley will be mostly cloudy and windy. That's how it seems to be every time I go out regardless of the forecasts. I just use the forecast to tell whether I can expect dumps of snow vs light snow, and whether to expect -20 and below, or -5 to -15 or zeroish.

Or learn to make your own area-specific forecasts based on reading the data yourself.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 02:15 PM
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^^^ Very true. Had light overcast at Maligne Canyon, and high winds, driving snow and socked in at Old Fort Point, just a few km. up the river.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Ryan.in.yaletown

I find that snow-forecast.com seems to be pretty accurate these days... not sure if they have enough detail for your area though:
http://www.snow-forecast.com/maps/dynamic/bcol

-Ryan
I've heard this from a few people lately. I watched it during the storm that came through a couple of weeks ago. The relative intensity of the precip was predicted pretty well but they called for about double the snow that fell if you sum all of the amounts. They mention that they apply a fixed conversion between rain and snow amounts which can vary by quite a bit. It seems to be that for our wet coastal snow we get less volume than they predict, at the very least.
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