This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.
Blue Mountain Resort was established in 1941. Since it's been in operation, it has opened every winter to welcome skiers and enthusiasts. But on Jan. 5, 2007, the resort was forced to shut down mid-season as its hills lacked snow.
Blue Mountain is technically located in the incorporated "The Blue Mountains," situated in Grey County, Ont. It is not far from Collingwood, which is in Simcoe County, Ont. Historically, on Jan. 5, Collingwood's temperature high is -1.7°C. On Jan. 5, 2007, it was 11°C.
The balminess did not allow for the production of fake snow, as Blue Mountain needs temperatures between -2°C and -6°C to make the white stuff.
In mid-January, when the ground in Central Canada is usually frozen, it was still soft. There wasn't any ice in the lakes and rivers, there was no snow, and leaves were still on trees.
Generally, over the years, Canadian winters have become warmer and drier. But the 2005-06 winter was the warmest on record, so there was increased urgency from outdoor enthusiasts for an ideal 2007 winter season.
"We're trying to make the best of things so that guests who still come to Blue will have a good time, but it's pretty tense," said Kelly O'Neil, a spokesperson for Blue Mountain Resort.
Unfortunately, after a run of unseasonably warm weather, the officials said they had no choice but to close the resort. Blue Mountain laid off 1,300 workers, including housekeeping staff, restaurant workers and ski lift operators.
Just days later, on Jan. 9, more than 20 centimetres of fresh powder fell over areas in Ontario. Blue Mountain reopened its doors, with at least 200 of the furloughed employees returning to their jobs.
In 2020, a week after Blue Mountain opened its ski hills, they were forced to close their doors to comply with Ontario's COVID-19 lockdown regulations. This is the second time in the resort's history that they have to cease operations.
Thumbnail courtesy of Blue Mountain