How We Report Snowfall & Mountain Conditions
Here at the Lake Louise Ski Resort, we strive to provide accurate and timely snow & condition updates so that you never miss a powder day and know what to expect when you arrive.
Here’s how we do it
Snow reporting begins at 4:30 am and is completed by 6 am each day of the winter season. Overnight snowfall, 24 hour, 48 hour, 7 day, snow depth, and season totals are provided. Overnight snow is calculated from when the lifts closed at 4 pm the previous day, up to the time of the early morning snow report between 5 & 6 am. Overnight values are initially collected by remotely accessing a weather station on the mountain. The remaining values are then calculated by updating and referencing our snowfall database. To ensure the information is accurate, our mountain operations teams check several snow plot locations around the resort each morning and afternoon. We may update our snowfall values on our website and social posts if significant snow falls after the time of the early morning report (happens often), and/or if a manual reading shows conflicting results (not often).
Reporting snow surface conditions and run recommendations is based on the collective observations of our snow reporters who are avid skiers & snowboarders, along with our mountain teams such as Patrol, Trail Crew, Ski Friends, etc.
For the weather, we’re partnered with a unique weather service (RWDI) that provides reliable forecasting and temperatures for both the upper and lower mountain. They have access to weather stations right here at our resort. Other popular weather services use stations at nearby locations.
Why do I sometimes see more or less snow than was reported?
The amount of snow received at different locations can vary significantly at times. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Elevation. Due to lower air pressure, higher relative humidity, and cooler temperatures at higher elevations, the upper mountain often receives 20% or more snow than the lower areas. In short, there’s more snow the higher you go.
- Temperatures. Colder temperatures usually result in lighter snowfall that stacks higher - think champagne powder. Warmer temperatures closer to 0 degrees can create denser snow that stacks somewhat lower – think spring snow.
- Winds. Slopes that face away from the wind frequently receive additional wind-blown snow. Our back bowls often benefit from this, even when it’s not snowing.
- Snowfall after the report. This happens often and we do our best to update our reports when warranted.
- Grooming. Groomed runs may appear to have little or no fresh snow on top if they were groomed after an overnight snowfall. The good news is that new snow tilled into the snowpack often creates fresh corduroy that is superbly soft.
- Isolated flurries. Sometimes Mother Nature targets certain areas of the resort more than others. You’ll have to ask her why…
How can I stay informed?
We provide multiple ways to get current snow and condition information:
- Visit skilouise.com. Check our conditions & weather webpage at any time for the most current information.
- Subscribe to our snow report emails which are sent daily or when 5 cm, or 10+ cm of snow falls overnight.
- Watch our Instagram & Facebook stories. Updates are posted when 5 cm or more snow falls overnight (typically by 8 am).
- Message boards at the resort. We print and post our reports around the resort each morning.