From bad to worse: Freezing rain and possible floods expected
Published Tuesday, February 7, 2017 8:43AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 7, 2017 12:40PM PST
The next wallop of wintry weather could leave South Coast residents wishing for the simplicity of snowfall.
That's because Environment Canada has removed its snow warnings for the region and replaced them with winter storm watches – indicating areas could be slammed with multiple types of severe weather, including snowstorms, freezing rain and downpours.
Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Whistler, the Sunshine Coast, the southern Gulf Islands and most of eastern and southern Vancouver Island are all on notice, according to the weather office.
- Get the latest updates from Environment Canada
The cause is a Pacific Storm that's forecast to arrive late Wednesday, bringing a warm front that's expected to clash with the frigid Arctic air currently sitting over the province and create another blast of snow and a deluge of rain.
"There will be heavy snow initially Wednesday night along with a good chance of freezing rain," Environment Canada said in an alert.
"Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery. Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible."
Significant rainfall is expected to follow on Thursday. The most rain and snow is expected over inland areas, particularly in the Fraser Valley, the weather office said.
On Tuesday, this week's wintry weather forced a half-dozen districts to cancel school for the second day in a row, leaving many parents scrambling for childcare.
"It's a bit of a pain trying to figure out what the best to do it is – if grandma and grandpa can come over, if mom and dad can take the day off, if there's room at the rec centre," said Langley parent Brad Way.
In Surrey, all 125 public school were closed, with district officials worrying there is still too much snow to be cleared from sidewalks and parking lots.
"The assessment today was that it might be possible in some locations, but the superintendent decided that we're just going to leave it another day," district spokesman Doug Strachan said.
Based on the work being done clearing areas around schools across the city, the district anticipates things will be back to normal on Wednesday.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Nafeesa Karim