Snowfall and winter storm warnings in place for much of B.C. as Pacific storm approaches
Up to 35 cm snow forecast for Whistler; 2-10 cm for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley
Environment Canada has issued weather alerts for much of south and central B.C. as a strong Pacific system bringing strong winds and heavy snow looks set to arrive late Friday into Saturday.
The storm is forecast to drop as much as 100 millimetres of rain on the west coast of Vancouver Island, while bringing winds gusting up to 110 km/h on the Island's north coast, before the rain turns to snow as it moves inland.
Between 25 and 35 centimetres of snow is expected for Squamish, Whistler and the Sea-to-Sky corridor, while areas of the central and north coasts could see up to 40 centimetres, the weather agency said.
It advised avoiding non-essential travel in these areas until conditions improve.
"Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations," it warned, saying conditions could quickly deteriorate.
Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley could also see some snow, ranging from two centimetres near sea level to 10 centimetres on higher terrain.
Winter storm and snowfall warnings have also been issued for East Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Fraser Canyon, among other areas, while heavy snow is also expected for the southern Interior, Cariboo, Kootenays and Rockies into the weekend as the system moves east.
A full list of weather warnings can be found on Environment Canada's public weather alerts page.
Strong southerly winds are also expected in many areas beginning on Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, northeast B.C. continues to see extreme cold as an Arctic air mass settles over the region, with temperatures down to -35 C forecast on Friday morning, feeling closer to -40 C with wind chill, Environment Canada said.