Although it’s officially been Fall for some weeks now, we are really settling into the Coastal autumn routine with regards to weather and overall mountain conditions. We seem to exist by the hour, with heavy rain at one point followed by sunny periods the next, bookended by pre-frontal winds and post-frontal “shmoo.” Heat waves and multi-month droughts seem long forgotten, existing only ephemerally in nostalgic memories.
After a bit of a sunny break today, unsettled weather is forecast to move in bringing cooler and wetter conditions to the northern and central areas of the Rockies and Columbia mountains over the weekend, especially at higher elevations. Southern and eastern regions will stay drier and warmer, but there is potential for strong winds up high throughout the weekend in most areas.
It is transition time in the mountains. Friday and Saturday look like nice weather days in both the Rockies and Columbias with mainly clear skies and temperatures up to 15C. Some models are calling for precipitation to start Sunday to the West of the divide and along Highway 93 North to the Icefields. All areas besides the front ranges are expecting unsettled weather for most of next week, with snow in the alpine, rain at treeline and below, and cooling temperatures. The front ranges will likely escape most of this moisture.
A normal autumn pattern for weather, conditions, and hazards looks like it will be in play for the next week.
Crisp days with bluebird skies over much (if not all) of the past week will change to more variable weather in all areas of the Rockies and Columbias. There will be some precipitation over the weekend, a couple nice days at the beginning of the week, and then models are showing a significant pulse of moisture on Wednesday. Keep an eye on the forecasts to see if the timing or intensity changes.
The first signs of autumn arrived in Canmore this week, with some leaves already turning yellow. That said, it looks like we’ll be returning to more seasonal temperatures and conditions after a particularly wintery week in the mountains.
The forecast is generally good for the long weekend, except for some isolated rain expected in more northern regions. It should be relatively warm, with freezing levels climbing up to ~3000m during daytime highs.
We seem to be slowing easing into early Autumn in the Rockies and Columbias with shortening days and some relatively cooler temperatures. It is a slightly awkward time for choosing objectives in the mountains as there are numerous "problems/hazards" but they vary some widely across terrain features and across the ranges.
1. Verglas The snow from earlier this week is "mostly" gone at treeline and the lower alpine but I was still seeing verglas in shady places around 2500m yesterday at O'Hara. Expect this throughout the alpine as a possibility.
Weather: Current forecasts are showing 10-20mm of rain in the Rockies and Columbias over the weekend with freezing levels near 3000m. There will likely be some snow flurries at those higher elevations. More stable weather is in the forecast starting Monday. The good news over the weekend is that the fire smoke forecast is mainly clear for all of these regions, probably returning next week.
Over all the Alpine is dryer and warmer then the average summer. What this means is there is more bare ice on the glaciers and there are more rockfall events occurring.
This summer has been dry and hot. This trend will continue through the weekend but there is some precipitation in the forecast for early next week in the Interior and Rocky Mountains. Models are showing up to 12 mm of rain in the Interior and 6 mm in the Rockies starting on Monday, with temps dropping we may see some snow at high elevations, although it will likely not last.