Predicting Vancouver's weather: an unofficial Olympic event

Forecasting the fickle weather in Vancouver and Whistler is tough job even for locals. So far, the Olympic meteorologists are in gold medal standing.

  • close
    Clouds and fog hang over the Whistler Creekside area after the after two Alpine Skiing events were postponed due to weather.
    Mike Segar/Reuters
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

Every Whistler local jokes that the weather forecasts here are so unpredictable that it’s no use paying attention to them.

Robbie Dixon, a local member of Canada’s Olympic alpine ski team, says he just looks outside to see what kind of day it’s going to be.

But for the officials, groomers, and volunteers who have to prepare the courses each day, and the team technicians that have to make athletes’ skis and snowboards run as fast as possible in conditions that can drastically change from hour to hour, the meteorologist reports here are crucially important.

Nicholas Major of Quebec is one of six meteorologists working at Whistler Olympic Park, the venue for Nordic events. He and his team have to prepare highly detailed, hourly forecasts. Even though he’s from Quebec, he says he’s been forecasting for this area for more than 10 years. Part of what he and his team has done is look at patterns.

So far, he says with a smile, their reports have been highly accurate.

Maybe the locals should start paying attention.

Visit our Vancouver 2010 homepage for complete Winter Olympic coverage. While you're at it, follow Christa as she tweets from the Games.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.