Smythe excelerating meteorology When looking for weather predictions many folks turn to those witty fellows on the radio, TV and even the newspaper. But for years, residents of the Whistler Valley have been listening to a local weatherman of some renown - Hugh Smythe. Smythe is the president of Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises, but in the last few years he has also taken on responsibilities at Stratton Mountain in Vermont and Quebec's Mont Tremblant, resorts owned by Blackcomb's parent company, Intrawest. Those extra responsibilities haven't affected his ability to predict the local weather with a startling degree of accuracy. Smythe says with all the talk of the warming effects of El Nino the Jet Stream often gets misrepresented. A shift in the Jet Stream is forcing cold, moisture-laden air toward the west coast - hence the more than 100 centimetres of snow which has allowed Whistler and Blackcomb some of the best early-season conditions in a couple decades. "It's been eight degrees colder than average in Las Vegas yet Eastern Canada and the Eastern Seaboard of the States have had unseasonably high temperatures, that means snow for us," Smythe said, smiling as he looked out the window of Merlin's at the dime-sized flakes falling.