British Columbia

First snow of the fall season hits highway mountain passes in B.C.

Mountain passes across southern B.C. were coated in fresh snow on Sunday night, marking the first significant snowfall of the autumn season.

Snowfall warnings in effect for Okanagan Connector, parts of Hwy 3

Drivers head down the Okanagan Connector toward Westbank, B.C., after a brief snowfall on Oct. 12. (Submitted/Haley Gigg)

Mountain passes across southern B.C. were coated in fresh snow on Sunday night, marking the first significant snowfall of autumn.

The Okanagan Connector and sections of Highway 3 between Paulson Summit and Kootenay Pass received up to 15 centimetres on Sunday night, and CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe said the next system Monday night could bring another 15-20 centimetres by Tuesday.

Ski hills like Whistler, Grouse Mountain and the SilverStar Resort also got a dusting of snow. Wet snow fell briefly on the Coquihalla Highway early Monday but didn't stick for long.

Environment Canada has snowfall warnings in effect for the Okanagan Connector and Highway 3. The agency said visibility could be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. Drivers are asked to slow down, watch for tail lights ahead and be prepared to stop quickly if the weather changes.

Wind warnings on coast

Away from the mountain highways, wind warnings are in effect for coastal areas of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

Environment Canada said gusts could reach 100 km/h over western Vancouver Island late Monday and 90 km/h around the Strait of Georgia. Winds on exposed sections of northern Vancouver Island could reach 110 km/h.

The agency said winds will ease on Tuesday morning.

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