British Columbia

Extreme winds and winter storms blow into parts of western B.C.

Environment Canada has issued warnings of visibility-limiting snow storms and strong winds in certain areas.

Haida Gwaii, Vancouver Island, the central coast area and Yukon border will be affected

Environment Canada is warning of winter storms at B.C.'s northern border, which may severely reduce visibility on major highways in the area. (Drive B.C.)

A public weather statement issued by Environment Canada says strong winds are beginning to move in around many areas of western British Columbia.

Environment Canada issues the warnings when there is a significant risk of winds causing damage.

In Haida Gwaii, strong southeast winds can be expected to increase to over 80 kilometres an hour late Saturday afternoon, but will ease off Sunday morning as the Pacific frontal system causing the extreme weather moves inland.

Environment Canada has issued a map with areas affected by extreme weather in red. (Environment Canada)

Meanwhile, as the system moves southeast, winds moving up to 100 kilometres an hour will develop over the central coast region of British Columbia — an area roughly stretching from Bella Bella in the north to Alert Bay in the south. These winds are also expected to ease Sunday morning.

Western and northern Vancouver Island can also expect strong winds overnight on Saturday, with winds reaching speeds of 70 to 90 kilometres an hour. The winds should begin to subside by midday on Sunday as the weather system moves to the east.

Also, winter storms

People who live near B.C.'s northwestern border with the Yukon can expect hazardous winter conditions on Saturday night. Between 15 to 25 cm of snow is expected to blow in during strong winds — severely reducing visibility on roads in the region.

Environment Canada is urging people in the South Klondike Highway and Haines Road areas to postpone non-essential travel until conditions improve.

The winter storms in the South Klondike Highway and Haines Road areas are expected to ease slightly on Sunday, but not before another five to 10 centimetres of snow falls.

Environment Canada also cautions that visibility can be suddenly reduced to near zero at times of heavy snow and blowing snow.