'Dicey' road conditions expected for the Fraser Valley as snow, freezing rain roll in
Chilliwack and Hope will be hardest hit, with 20 to 30 centimetres of snow forecast
It's set to be a treacherous day for driving in B.C., with winter storm warnings in effect for the Fraser Valley, including Chilliwack and Hope.
According to Environment Canada, the region could see freezing rain and between 20 and 30 centimetres of snow before Thursday night.
A snowfall warning is also in effect for the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt, and for Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton.
Snow began falling east of Mission around 6 a.m. Thursday. A snowfall warning has also been issued for Abbotsford.
DRIVERS: Please, check out <a href="https://t.co/fV2SZVSO1s">https://t.co/fV2SZVSO1s</a> & our forecast page: <a href="https://t.co/7CDM3Oh3uX">https://t.co/7CDM3Oh3uX</a> BEFORE you hit the road. Particularly Fraser Valley and Sea to Sky drivers, it's going to be messy out there. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BCstorm?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BCstorm</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KnowBeforeYouGo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KnowBeforeYouGo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DriveBC?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DriveBC</a> <a href="https://t.co/dHDovKopyl">pic.twitter.com/dHDovKopyl</a>—@ECCCWeatherBC
Avoid non-essential travel
"Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve. Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations," Environment Canada said in a statement.
Environment Canada meteorologist Matt MacDonald said a "very dynamic weather system" is unfolding, and that if you can avoid driving the Coquihalla until the weekend, you should.
"If you're heading eastbound and up the Coquihalla, things are going to be pretty ugly out there. And with the risk of freezing rain, it is absolutely the worst of all precipitation types," he said.
"If you absolutely have to go, have winter tires, maybe even chains, and have that emergency kit in your car. Things are going to be dicey here in the next 36 hours."
"How important is it to get to your destination today? I would really urge people to revisit their travel plans."
Winter weather across B.C.
Special weather statements are also in effect for the Sea to Sky up to Squamish, with the risk of freezing rain in the afternoon and evening.
Other regions, including Greater Victoria, east Vancouver Island, the southern Gulf Islands and inland Vancouver Island, could all receive between 10 and 15 centimetres of snow.
All those regions are also at risk of freezing rain early Thursday afternoon and into the evening.
While weather warnings are not in effect in the Peace region of northeastern B.C., bitter cold, coupled with mechanical problems, forced school districts 59 and 60 to cancel all school buses Thursday, although schools remain open.
Lots of warnings out for the interior and north coast as well. For all you latest updated warnings and statements with this <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BCstorm?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BCstorm</a> please go to: <a href="https://t.co/CmmOYq9UYk">https://t.co/CmmOYq9UYk</a> <a href="https://t.co/fP9EjKv9ag">pic.twitter.com/fP9EjKv9ag</a>—@ECCCWeatherBC
Snow fall warnings in effect for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Coquihalla?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Coquihalla</a>-<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Merritt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Merritt</a> to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Hope?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Hope</a>, the Okanagan Connector, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Hwy3?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Hwy3</a> - Hope to Princeton via Allison Pass, and for the Fraser Canyon south including <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lytton?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Lytton</a>. <a href="https://t.co/DMWEmw4mvi">pic.twitter.com/DMWEmw4mvi</a>—@DHerbertCBC
With files from the Canadian Press