British Columbia

Chilling news: Snow is falling on highway passes in B.C.'s southern Interior

A warning for anyone heading on high elevation highways today, as Environment Canada issues a special weather statement for B.C.'s Southern Interior and Northeast parts of the province. 

Kootenay Pass expected to get up to 15 cm as cold air mass settles over area

Snow accumulating on the Pennask Summit along Highway 97C west of Kelowna, B.C. on Friday morning. (DriveBC)

A warning for anyone heading for high-elevation highways: Environment Canada has issued special weather statements for B.C.'s southern Interior and and northeast parts of the province.

Snow is expected to begin Friday as a cold air mass settles over the Interior and is expected to persist through the weekend. 

The Kootenay Pass could see a significant amount of snow, with up to 15 centimetres possible by Saturday night. 

Smaller amounts are expected on the Rogers Pass, the Coquihalla Highway and the Okanagan connector. 

"It's not unusual to see snow in September … but we are seeing below seasonal temperatures," said Jonathan Bau,  senior meteorologist with Environment Canada.

Areas of the Rocky Mountains along the B.C.-Alberta border, such as the Elk Valley, could also see snow.  

 

In northeastern B.C., Environment Canada says wet snow is likely near the Rockies.

Areas along Highway 97 near Fort Nelson could see 5-10 centimetres. Further south in the Peace River region, a few centimetres of wet snow is possible, as well as on Highway 97 and the Pine Pass west of Chetwynd.

"For any travellers that are expected to take that route, be advised of winter driving conditions in that area," said Bau.

Environment Canada says drier conditions and seasonal temperatures should return early next week.

B.C.'s winter tire laws don't kick in until Oct. 1, when winter tires or chains will be required on most routes in the province.

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