British Columbia

Snowfall warnings blanket British Columbia

Environment Canada has issued snowfall warnings for regions throughout mainland B.C., including an Arctic outflow warning for parts of northern B.C.

Multiple highways under snowfall warning as Arctic outflow brings frigid air to northern B.C.

A webcam view of a snowy road, with a 'Welcome to Golden' sign to the right of the image.
A view of Highway 1 at the entrance to Golden, B.C. in the southern Interior. Snowfall warnings are in place for many regions of mainland B.C. on Sunday. (DriveBC)

Environment Canada has issued snowfall warnings for regions throughout mainland B.C., including an Arctic outflow warning for parts of northern B.C.

The warnings stretch from Howe Sound and the Fraser Valley in southwest B.C., to the southern Interior, all the way to the North Coast.

On Saturday, the forecaster had issued a snowfall warning for Metro Vancouver, but that warning has since been rescinded.

In Howe Sound, just north of Metro Vancouver, the rain falling over the region is expected to change to snow later on Sunday. The total amount of snow is expected to be around 10 centimetres, according to Environment Canada.

A map of British Columbia showing multiple regions coloured red, to indicate weather warnings.
Snowfall warnings covered a significant portion of mainland B.C. on Sunday morning, as snow and Arctic outflow brought chilly temperatures to the province. (Environment Canada)

Environment Canada also posted a series of snowfall warnings for highways throughout B.C.'s southern and central Interior, saying another round of heavy snow is forecast Sunday morning through midday Monday. Up to 25 centimtres of snow could fall on the routes.

The warnings cover roads including the Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Merritt and Merritt to Kamloops, Highway 97 from Clinton to 100 Mile House, Highway 3 from Hope to Princeton via Allison Pass and from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass, as well as the Okanagan Connector from Merritt to Kelowna.

According to Environment Canada, the weather system may mix with rain in the early afternoon in the south Okanagan before turning back to snow in the evening. Snowfall is expected to be heaviest Sunday night, and up to 20 centimetres could drop.

Arctic outflow warnings are now in place for the North and Central Coast, where Environment Canada said winds could gust up to 110 kilometres per hour and the wind chill could drop to as low as –20 C as air moves south from the Arctic.

"Minimize exposed skin with hats, scarves and mittens or gloves. Anyone who is not dressed warmly is at risk of frostbite and hypothermia in cold weather," reads the warning. "Be prepared for unusually cold temperatures and strong winds."

A snowfall warning was also issued for East Vancouver Island Sunday morning, warning of the potential for heavy accumulating snow Monday night at higher elevations. A special weather statement warns of snow flurries that may reach sea level, saying that "localised pockets of heavy snow will develop across southeast Vancouver Island."

Ken Dosanjh, meteorologist with Environment Canada, says there is a chance the Lower Mainland will see more wet snow Monday. Any snow that sticks should clear up by Tuesday but temperatures will continue to drop this week. 

Dosanjh said forecasts for November, December, and January, show the possibility of a colder than normal winter across the province. 

Environment Canada says that drivers should be prepared for conditions to change rapidly during snowfall, and that surfaces could become more slippery as a result.

If the visibility drops, the forecaster says, drivers should watch for tail lights ahead and be prepared to stop frequently.

The forecaster's snowfall warning comes on the heels of a large windstorm, with gusts of up to 100 km/h, that caused more than 300,000 people to lose power overnight on Friday.

With files from The Canadian Press


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