By Dan Walton
Its difficult for weather forecasts to be accurate in mountainous terrain, but the recent additions of webcams in the Columbia Valley have made up-to-the minute visuals possible at a few favourite spots.
Through various websites, anybody with an internet connection can take a first-hand glimpse at traffic and weather conditions from at least half a dozen places.
Highway 93/95 locations in Brisco, Radium Hot Springs and Canal Flats are covered by DriveBC to give motorists advance notice before a trip. Those webcam feeds can all be seen at goo.gl/DrJbYn .
For pilots, and those experiencing the weather at ground level, the Invermere Airport has a camera streaming at goo.gl/0X8hCF .
To get an idea of how many skaters are on Lake Windermere near Kinsmen Beach, the Invermere Soaring Centre webcam at goo.gl/f9OQ7T covers whats happening on the lake.
Conditions at the top of Panorama Mountain
Village, which are rarely similar to those in Invermere, give the public a look from 2,370 metres above sea level at goo.gl/AmvOKe .
Mount Swansea has also had two webcams recently installed at its summit, though the devices are currently hibernating until the weather warms up.
Both of those summit
webcams are powered by solar panels which need more sun and warmth than January provides. Paraglider Max Fanderl, who helped install the cameras on Mount Swansea, said they will likely be running again by the end of February, adding that they also measure the speed and direction of the wind, and capture images from both the south and the west. That webpage can be found at goo.gl/t1sYgB.
A private business in downtown Invermere had an active webcam near 10th Street and 7th Avenue, but for months has displayed the same frozen image taken last September
goo.gl/TlhcqH is the link.