'Dicey' road conditions expected for the Fraser Valley as snow, freezing rain roll in

Winter storm warnings are in effect for the Fraser Valley, including Chilliwack and Hope.

Chilliwack and Hope will be hardest hit, with 20 to 30 centimetres of snow forecast

Freezing rain is once again in the forecast for the Fraser Valley. (Christer Waara/CBC)

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.

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.

Environment Canada warns that conditions on the Coquihalla are expected to deteriorate on Thursday, and that all vehicles travelling the highway should be equipped with snow tires. (Christer Waara/CBC)

"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."

A snowy scene at the Chilliwack airport. (Christer Waara/CBC)

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. 

Environment Canada is urging motorists to postpone non-essential travel in the Fraser Valley. (Erica Henderson/Twitter)

With files from the Canadian Press