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'Consider postponing non-essential travel,' Environment Canada warns as B.C. storm moves inland

A portion of the Coquihalla Highway is seen on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. (DriveBC) A portion of the Coquihalla Highway is seen on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. (DriveBC)
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Rainfall warnings have been lifted in the Lower Mainland, but the storm that brought them has now prompted Environment and Climate Change Canada to advise against non-essential travel on two highways in B.C.'s Interior.

The weather agency issued winter storm warnings for the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt and Highway 3 from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass Tuesday morning, saying "hazardous winter conditions are expected."

"A frontal system moving across the B.C. Interior will give heavy snow to southern highway passes," the warning reads. "Light snow this morning will intensify later in the day. The snow will abate Wednesday morning as the system exits the region."

On the Coquihalla, snow is expected to be mainly near the summit, with precipitation below 1,200 metres in elevation forecast to fall as rain.

Snow levels along the highway are expected to drop to 600 metres Tuesday evening, according to ECCC.

On Highway 3, 15 centimetres of snow are expected near Paulson Summit, while accumulations are "likely to exceed 25 centimetres" over Kootenay Pass, the agency said.

"Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve," the advisory reads. "Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow."

Environment Canada recommends checking DriveBC for the latest information on road conditions.  

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