11/12/2015 16:41 EST | Updated 11/12/2016 00:12 EST

Whistler opening a week early thanks to snow and cold

Whistler Mountain has announced it will kick off the new ski season Thursday, Nov. 19 — one week earlier than originally planned — thanks a couple of big snowfalls and cold temperatures.

Since the beginning of November the mountain has received 98 centimetres of natural snow, with the forecast calling for a dump of another 45 centimetres at upper elevations thanks to a large storm moving over the region.

Temperatures have also been cold enough to allow for the making of significant artificial snow.  

Whistler is the second B.C. ski hill to announce an early opening. Big White near Kelowna will open limited runs Friday Nov. 13, two weeks before its scheduled opening.