Snow, freezing rain on its way to Vancouver

Snow removal crews in Vancouver are preparing the city's major roads in anticipation of snow late Sunday and into Monday morning.

Up to 5 cm of snow, changing to freezing rain Monday, Environment Canada says

B.C.'s South Coast is expecting snow Sunday night, turning to freezing rain on Monday 2:10

Snow removal crews in Vancouver are preparing the city's major roads in anticipation of snow late Sunday and into Monday morning.

Seventy people were on shift at the National Works Yard near Main and Terminal on Sunday morning — normally on a Sunday, there would only be two. The crew had 20 trucks out brining and salting the city's streets. 

"We've certainly been prepared and we have lots of treatment on the road," said Vancouver streets operations manager Murray Wightman.

"The 14 snow routes, as I call them, all the bus routes ... We'll deal with the seawalls and the bike routes as well."

Environment Canada says a complex system is moving east across B.C. on Sunday evening and into Monday, replacing freezing Arctic air with milder Pacific air. There is a 30 to 40 per cent chance of flurries along the South Coast overnight.

"It's going to snow. The details might be troublesome around Vancouver. We're suggesting about two to five centimetres, further north toward Whistler, 10 to 15," said Environment Canada's David Jones.

That could all change Monday morning, however, when temperatures warm slightly and snow turns to drizzle across Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and possibly over parts of Vancouver Island. 

"There's potential for freezing rain right during the morning commute," said Jones.

Wightman said his crews are ready.

"We're going [to] have the snow and the rain and just a messy day, but we'll go into a real clean up routine tomorrow."

Cold snap comes to an end

The South Coast of B.C. has been braving a cold snap all week, with overnight temperatures occasionally dropping to the negative double digits.

Vancouver park board commissioner John Coupar says there are signs like this one up around partially frozen Vancouver park ponds. He says the ice isn't thick enough on any of them to be safe.

The cold snap lasted long enough for firefighters in Richmond, B.C., to construct a makeshift ice rink at Garry Point Park. But it also lasted long enough for natural lakes and ponds to freeze over — meaning pet owners and parents of small children need to be extra watchful near bodies of water.

"One of the big concerns we have is to make that sure that people keep their pets leashed as well, because often if a pet falls into the ice, then people want to go after it to save the animal," said Vancouver Park Board commissioner John Coupar.

Coupar said there are no natural lakes or ponds with ice thick enough to walk or skate on in Vancouver.