The general climate of southern coastal British Columbia is typified by mild winters with rain near sea level and snow at higher elevations. Summers are warm and dry. The weather of the region is strongly influenced by geography and geomorphology. This area is in the mid latitudes on the eastern side of a large ocean. The contrast between the heat of the tropics and the cool of the arctic combined with the rotation of the earth leads to a predominantly westerly flow of weather systems across the region. High coastal mountains force the uplift and cooling of the moist pacific air masses, leading to heavy precipitation on the windward slopes. Whistler is here because it precips. Winter season precipitation falls mainly in the form of rain in Vancouver and normally as snow in Whistler. Whistler Valley is actually a sub valley of the main predominant flow. The Callaghan valley site of the 2010 nordic events recieves about 2/3 of the total precip. Whistler recieves about a third of that. ie. We get 40cm of fresh in Whistler, and up there they get 120cm. Most pacific storms approach from the SW. As a Deep low approachs the Queen Charlottes and northern Vancouver Island the Counter clockwise rotation of these storms send waves of cloud and precipitation up staight up Howe Sound and up the main valleys. Whistler also experiances arctic outflow conditions in mid winter after a large pool of arctic air sits over the B.C interior sending a cold blast of wind down the valleys. Tempetures can drop to -25c in hours. Late Spring is usually wet with lots of alpine snow, and large cumulus clouds cling to the valley walls. By around the first of July or so high pressure builds off the B.C. coast and can give weeks of hot sunny weather. Highs reaching into the upper 30's C...Fall time in Whistler can be a beutifull time with crisp mountain air and quite often summer extends well into Sept and beginning of Oct. By Nov 1 storms begin building in the pacific usually sending us the first snow of the season. Skiing in the backcountry around Whistler if were very lucky starts as soon as there's about 2 feet. Typicaly in a good snow year skiing / boarding starts around the first week of November. In a bad year Whistler Blackcomb pumps out snow with there impressive snowmaking system to get us skiing on a few runs by opening day Nov 25.. Transistions can be very quick often your suntanning one minute and the next snow flakes are hitting the valley floor.
Whistler Climate Data--->>