Winter storm prompts warnings, avalanche concerns
Published Tuesday, January 8, 2013 7:53AM PST
Greater Victoria and Metro Vancouver will likely dodge a wicked winter storm bearing down on the province, but the rest of southern B.C. won't be as lucky.
Wind, rain or snowfall warnings stretch from the west and east coasts of Vancouver Island through the Sunshine Coast, Whistler, Fraser Valley and most regions east and north of the Similkameen and Okanagan.
Travel advisories are already in effect along the Coquihalla Highway with as much as 75 centimetres of snow expected over the summit before the storm passes tomorrow.
Powerful winds are forecast over Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast through the day while up to 70 millimetres of rain could deluge the eastern Fraser Valley before the storm abates.
The incoming storm is expected to dump buckets of rain across the Lower Mainland and Sea-to-Sky region, raising concerns at the Canadian Avalanche Centre.
All that rain will fall as snow on Vancouver's North Shore mountains and in the Whistler region.
The Avalanche Centre says dangerous avalanche conditions can be expected in the North Shore backcountry with conditions already listed as "high" -- possibly moving to extreme in the wake of blizzard-like conditions.
Members of the North Shore Search and Rescue team have already complained that poorly-equipped rookie snowshoers are unknowingly trekking into areas far beyond their capabilities.