Heavy snow and strong winds in the Fraser Valley east of Vancouver have forced the closure of many schools and created dangerous conditions on roads and highways on Tuesday morning.

RCMP say extreme weather conditions forced the closure of highways 9 and 7 between Harrison and Agassiz around 10 a.m. PT. Driving conditions east of Mt. Lehman were particularly treacherous during the morning commute.

Earlier on Tuesday morning Environment Canada issued a weather warning for the eastern Fraser Valley, forecasting 10 to 15 centimetres of snow.

But a weather warning for the Western Fraser Valley, Metro Vancouver, Victoria, the Southern Gulf Islands was lifted just after 7 a.m.

TransLink was reporting all transit systems are operating normally, as of 10 a.m. PT, but riders were being warned to dress warmly and to be prepared for delays and reroutes.

The winter storm had a grip on much of B.C. and weather warnings remained in place for the North and Central Coast, Haida Gwaii, large parts of the central Interior and Yoho Park and Elk Valley areas of the southeastern Interior.

Temperatures in the Central Interior were forecast to hit -40 wind chill value and people planning to spend time outdoors should exercise extreme caution as frostbite can occur within minutes, officials warned.

The snow was also creating dangerous driving conditions on many Interior highways. Drive B.C. issued a travel advisor, warning of limited visibility on the Coquihalla Highway 5. In southeastern B.C. Highway 3 was closed in both directions from Sparwood to the Alberta border.

Much of B.C. has been dealing with a cold blast of arctic air since Friday when Metro Vancouver was first hit with a dump of snow.

School closures:

  • All campuses of the University of the Fraser Valley, all day and night classes.
  • All public schools in the Fraser-Cascade School District.
  • All public schools in the Chilliwack School District.
  • All public schools in Mission School District.
  • All public schools in Abbotsford School District.
  • Maple Ridge Christian School.
  • St. Jean Brebeuf School, Abbotsford.
  • St. James Elementary, Abbotsford.
  • Ecole des Deux Rives, Mission.
  • Mennonite Educational Institute, Abbotsford.
  • John Calvin Christian School, Chilliwack.
  • Credo Christian High School, Langley.
  • Dasmesh Punjabi School, Abbotsford.
  • Summit Pacific College, Abbotsford.
  • Cornerstone Christian School, Abbotsford.
  • Cascade Christian School, Chilliwack.
  • John Calvin Christian School, Chilliwack
  • King's School in Langley will start classes at 10:30 a.m.
  • All Maple Ridge public school buses on snow routes.