British Columbia

Rain and wind warnings make for 'gross' weather on B.C. coast, but snow's headed for the slopes

The North Shore ski hills could accumulate more than a metre of snow by Friday, according to CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe.

Snowfall warning in effect for Coquihalla Highway, Fraser Canyon

A pedestrian carrying an umbrella walks across the plaza at Central City as rain falls in Surrey, B.C.. on March 28, 2017. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

More than a dozen weather warnings are in effect across the southern half of the province Tuesday afternoon, from the west coast of the mainland into the West Kootenay.

Most of those advisories are for high winds, according to Environment Canada. Southeasterly winds of 60 to 80 km/h are being forecast for Howe Sound and the Sunshine Coast Tuesday afternoon.

The agency said gusts that strong may cause damage.

Metro Vancouver and the North Shore are also under a rainfall warning with up to 60 millimetres heading for the region. (@wenke2014/Twitter)

Metro Vancouver is also under a wind warning, but with the addition of a rainfall warning. Up to 60 millimetres is expected and localized flooding is a possibility Tuesday.

Further east, a snowfall warning is in effect for the Coquihalla Highway and Fraser Canyon. Between 20 and 25 centimetres of fresh powder is expected to fall along the mountain highway before snowfall tapers off Tuesday evening.

Drivers are advised to prepare for rapidly changing, hazardous conditions and slow down. 

A pileup is pictured at the Coquihalla’s Snowshed Hill between Box Canyon and Zopkios. The B.C. Ministry of Transportation is testing a new pilot project barring commercial vehicles from the far left lane in the area to better maintain traffic flow and plowing operations in poor weather. (B.C. Ministry of Transportation)

Commercial truck drivers are also reminded their vehicles are barred from the left lane in both directions on Snowshed Hill, between Box Canyon and Zopkios.

Parts of the West Kootenay, Kootenay Lake and Columbias are also under snowfall advisories.

Wind warnings for the majority of Vancouver Island were rescinded around midday Tuesday.

Snow on the mountains

While the winter storm pummels lower elevations, there's good news for skiers and snowboarders: a big dump of snow is in the forecast for local mountain resorts.

The North Shore ski hills could accumulate more than a metre of snow by Friday, according to CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe.

"We have a series of Pacific storms over the next five days that will bring a lot of moisture to the South Coast. With freezing levels around 950 metres, that means snow for our mountains," she said.

"It's going to be pretty gross down here over the next five days, but the silver lining will be that it's all falling as snow up there," Wagstaffe said.

It's been a slow start to the season for local ski hills. Cypress Mountain was the first to open and now has two chairlifts running. Grouse Mountain has now opened up some of its runs, while Mount Seymour has yet to announce an opening date.

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