Whistler, B.C., Jan. 30, 2004 — Residents and guests in Whistler woke up to an unexpected surprise this morning. Whistler Blackcomb received 45cm of new snow, the largest recorded overnight snowfall this season. Yesterday afternoon, the Environment Canada forecast called for 10-15cm, but the storm intensified, producing an unexpected bonus and boosting Whistler Blackcomb's base to 230cm or 91 inches. That's 7' 7", which is taller than recently named NBA All-Star starting center Yao Ming.
The forecast for the next 24 hours is calling for scattered flurries, with a mix of sun and cloud expected for the weekend. The new snow should last for a few days, as ski patrol is busy doing avalanche control work. The sheer amount of snow will delay alpine lifts openings, creating exceptional conditions in the alpine this weekend.
Whistler Mountain manager Paul Skelton is busy opening up terrain but he took time out to say, "There is a lot of snow on the mountains. The temperature is dropping, which will dry things out and should make for excellent powder skiing over the coming days."
The year-to-date snowfall total at Whistler Blackcomb is now 671 cm or 264 inches. That makes this the eighth best season to date. In all other winters with this much snow at the end of January, Whistler Blackcomb has smashed past its yearly average of 360 inches. Suffice to say conditions are excellent.