Old Man Winter is waking up

Snow will stay on the mountains around Cranbrook and Kimberley, but we may get a little more autumn in the valley bottoms: meteorologist

Kimberley Alpine Resort got a head start on the season Monday with a healthy dump of snow even at the base of the hill.

East Kootenay residents woke up to a blanket of fluffy white snow Tuesday morning, but Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist says we shouldn’t get used to it.

That’s right, the snow isn’t here to stay. The temperature through the week is expected to stay below 0 C, but Lundquist said by Sunday the valley bottom will warm up to 8 C or 9 C, effectively melting all the gathered flurries. The snowcapped Rockies aren’t going anywhere, though.

“In the mountains, winter is here to stay,” he said.

Lundquist said the storm that blew into the area overnight Monday certainly wasn’t unusual for this time a year.

“It’s that season where there’s snow starting to accumulate,” he said.

But still, those residents that found themselves scrambling to get the snow shovels out or the snow tires on the car are not alone. Lundquist suspects the lingering summer had many not thinking about winter until it literally hit the area hard.

“I think it caught us somewhat off guard,” he said.

Based out of Kelowna, Lundquist said they expect their first dump of snow in mid-November, but higher up in the Rockies in Cranbrook winter can be expected several weeks earlier. The white stuff doesn’t often remain for long before it melts and then falls again, however.

“Cranbrook’s usually a few weeks early,” he said. “It usually comes or goes.”

For those holding off on pulling out the winter boots, Lundquist said it’s time to quit procrastinating.

“It’s a really good early season reminder to get ready,” he said.

Those set to travel in the coming weeks are urged to get their vehicles prepped and properly equipped with winter tires.

The Canadian Rockies International Airport reported 9 cm of snow at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning. Lundquist said that number could vary across the city and the higher mountainous areas.

A snowfall warning had been rescinded by morning.