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nanaimo-hotel-snow The winter of 2010 has shaped up nicely. Only one real day of snow so far (although it was a doozy and then melted the next day) and not an overly annoying amount of rain... Temperatures have been really nice and all in all - shaping up for a great winter destination for tourists and snowbirds. That certainly was NOT the case last year!! One of the reasons why so many people in Canada love living in and visiting Southern BC is because of the mild winter weather. However, during the winter of 2009 the snow on Vancouver Island had many long-time residents shaking their heads as they desperately tried to dig their way out of more than one record snowfall. Most years Nanaimo and the surrounding area receive an average of 93cm of snow over the winter, however in 2008-2009 many snowfall records were broken as moist air combined with many an arctic cold front. In December 2008 traffic and commerce ground to a halt while 116cm of the white stuff fell in just under three weeks, including a record-breaking 33cm overnight on December 13, 2008. Of course, all of this snow on Vancouver Island was a boon for the two local ski hills: Mt Washington and Mt Cain. For the rest of residents it was a nuisance, and in more than a few cases was responsible for major automobile accidents when the snow combined with low temperatures to create icy road conditions. [caption id="attachment_828" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Painted Turtle Guesthouse is just one block from the ocean seawall and the Nanaimo Harbourfront"]Painted Turtle Guesthouse is just one block from the ocean seawall and the Nanaimo Harbourfront[/caption] For those planning to visit the area in the winter, be prepared in case of a sudden turn in the weather. Although the average winter temperature is a relatively mild 2ºC (36ºF), you should pack accordingly in case of a drop in temperature or one of the increasingly common large dumps of snow on Vancouver Island. If you enjoy your share of winter sports, bring a sled, snowshoes, skis or snowboard and take advantage of the abundance of natural wonders that abound in the Nanaimo area. As always, if you are planning to drive anywhere on Vancouver Island, BC, please ensure that your vehicle is equipped for winter road conditions and drive safely. Need a great family style accommodation in Nanaimo? Drop by (121 Bastion Street in the heart of the downtown historic district), call (250-753-4432 or toll free 1-866-309-4432) or visit the Painted Turtle Guesthouse website for information and to make a reservation for affordable, warm and spotless single, couple and family rooms.