British Columbia

Environment Canada issues warnings over wind, snowfall for several B.C. regions

Environment Canada says a dramatic change in pressure along with an unstable air mass will bring strong winds to some parts of B.C., and heavy snowfall for other regions Monday.

In Metro Vancouver, winds are expected to gust up to 90 km/h Monday afternoon and evening

Wind warnings are in place for Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria and the Southern Gulf Islands. (Ken Mizokoshi/CBC)

Environment Canada has issued a series of public alerts Monday in anticipation of strong coastal winds and heavy snowfall along the Coquihalla Highway.

A dramatic change in pressure along with an unstable air mass is to blame for the forecast, which includes wind warnings for Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria and the Southern Gulf Islands.

The federal weather agency says gusts in these areas could reach up to 90 km/h before easing Monday night. They are expected to peak in the late afternoon and in the early evening during rush hour.

"High winds may result in power outages and fallen tree branches," warned Environment Canada on its website. 

Environment Canada also issued special weather statements regarding wind for east and west Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

B.C. Ferries warned that wind could impact riders travelling across the Strait of Georgia Monday afternoon and evening. A few sailings were cancelled, but by 6 p.m., it said all remaining Tswwassen to Victoria sailings were no longer at risk of being called off.

Updates on current conditions and cancellations are available on the B.C. Ferries' website.

BC Hydro reports about 10,000 Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island customers were without power as of 7:30 p.m. Monday.

A number of cities, including Vancouver, Surrey, Victoria and Delta have announced extreme weather shelters will be open Monday, and in some cases, beyond.

Snow warnings

Environment Canada also issued snowfall warnings for the Coquihalla Highway Monday from Hope to Merritt, B.C., including the Fraser Canyon, Fraser Valley and Nicola Valley areas.

Up to 10 cm of snow is expected to make roads slick through this region before tapering off Tuesday morning. Snow has already been falling along the Coquihalla since Sunday night, meaning up to 25 cm could accumulate by Tuesday.

"A series of disturbances will bring periods of heavy snow to Coquihalla Highway — Hope to Merritt," said the forecaster.

Drivers are asked to adjust their speed to conditions, turn on their lights, and maintain a safe following distance.

Surfaces such as walkways and parking lots could also pose challenges for drivers and pedestrians alike.

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