VANCOUVER – It's been an atypically dry start to November in Metro Vancouver, but winter weather is in the forecast elsewhere in B.C.

Environment Canada issued three weather warnings, two watches and two special weather statements Thursday for parts of the province, suggesting freezing rain and heavy snow are possible. 

In some areas, as much as 40 centimetres of snow may fall by Saturday evening, the weather agency says.

A Pacific frontal system is heading toward the northern B.C. interior, and is expected to arrive Friday morning. On its tail is an Arctic front expected to stall over the area Saturday.

A winter storm watch issued for the Peace River and Williston regions suggests long periods of snow are possible. The total amount expected to fall in higher elevations between Thursday and Saturday night is between 30 and 40 centimetres, Environment Canada says

Other areas are expected to see 20 to 30 centimetres of accumulation. The northern Peace River Region will likely see the most snow, forecasters said, while the south might see less accumulation due to a warm front.

Five to 10 centimetres of snow is expected to fall over Highway 97's Pine Pass on Thursday, while the worst weather is expected Friday night and Saturday. The storm should taper to flurries by Saturday evening, the storm watch says.

Travellers through the area, especially those using the pass, are warned that visibility could be suddenly reduced by heavy snow. Weather in the mountains can change suddenly.

Peace River and Williston are also under special weather statements due to wintry weather.

Snow mixed with rain is expected Thursday night in both regions, and freezing rain is possible.

Warnings about freezing rain were also issued Thursday morning for Bulkley Valley and the Lakes District, Prince George and Stuart-Nechako as a warm front passed over the Interior.

The warm air, mixed with below-freezing temperatures at ground level, could lead to slick roads and sidewalks, Environment Canada warned.

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