11/02/2015 14:07 EST | Updated 11/02/2016 01:12 EDT

B.C. ski operators optimistic after unusually early snowfalls on many mountains

VANCOUVER — Winter is arriving on hills around British Columbia, raising hopes for ski operators worried about predictions of another warm, wet and green season.

Nearly 30 centimetres of snow has blanketed the Whistler-Blackcomb resort north of Vancouver, while Big White, near Kelowna, says 29 centimetres fell there over the last 12 hours.

Twenty-three centimetres of snow has been recorded at Silver Star Mountain, near Vernon, while three centimetres of the white stuff dusted the Sun Peaks Resort, north of Kamloops.

A skiff of snow has added a silver sheen to the trees of Mount Washington, on Vancouver Island, and even Vancouver's North Shore mountains are boasting snowfalls of up to seven centimetres.

Ski hills in many parts of the province reported disastrous seasons last year, with a lack of snow forcing several to close much earlier than usual.

A strong El Nino system is forecast for the West Coast this winter, with a soggy, warm system expected to bring less snow than usual to the Rockies and Alberta, with the possibility of early dumps of snow, especially on coastal mountains. (CKIZ)

The Canadian Press