Snow hits Metro Vancouver, up to 10 cm possible in some areas: Environment Canada
B.C.'s South Coast is being hit with another blast of winter, with snow falling in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.
It caused delays on the morning commute, with slippery conditions on the road.
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, and the Fraser Valley.
Two to four centimetres are expected in most areas, with up to 10 centimetres at higher elevations and for Howe Sound.
More serious snowfall warnings have been issued for the Sunshine Coast, Southern Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island where between 15 and 25 centimetres of snow is expected.
- Vancouver Island snowstorm leaves thousands without power, schools closed
The snow is expected to taper off or turn to a mix of rain and wet snow Monday afternoon.
“We're not expecting a whole lot more snowfall in the coming days. There's a slight possibility of something on Thursday, but overall, not looking at heavy snow on the horizon anytime soon,” said Bobby Sekhon, a meteorologist for Environment Canada.
TransLink had also been preparing for the winter weather, as snow has caused problems for transit in the past, but spokesperson Tina Lovegreen said the morning commute went smoothly.
“We did all we could to prepare for what may come,” she said. “That includes spraying de-icer on our trolley overhead wires, making sure additional staff are on standby if need be, making sure we have tire socks ready to deploy on those routes serving Burnaby Mountain and the North Shore.
Lovegreen said TransLink also stays in contact with municipalities to make sure priority bus lanes are kept clear.
“Our buses are as reliable as the roads are clean,” she said. “In some instances, we’ll also swap out our articulated buses with 40-foot buses. Those are more agile when you’re dealing with steep or slippery terrain.”
Lovegreen said they are also implementing a new “snow shuttle” this year serving UBC from Alma Street and via the Blanca bus loop. She reminded riders to take precautions for future snowy forecasts.
“We really encourage our customers to leave extra time in their commute,” she said. “Check their routes before they go, so they can do that by signing up for transit alerts or by following us on Twitter, and dress for the elements.”
DriveBC says crews and maintenance contractors are preparing for snow, in particular on the Port Mann and Alex Fraser bridges, where "ice bombs" have fallen on passing cars during previous snowfalls.
Plows were out in full force on Burnaby Mountain Monday morning clearing the steep hill on the way up to Simon Fraser University.
Large flakes were also seen coming down in Vancouver, covering the city in wet slush.
Burke Mountain in Coquitlam looked like a winter wonderland, under a thick blanket of snow before the sun came up.
Local police departments issued warnings to drivers on social media.
“City crews are out and preparing our roadways. Please drive to conditions and check Drive BC for updates,” tweeted Abbotsford Police Department.
The snow is expected to impact the morning commute, with several spunout vehicles spotted along Highway 1.
“Be prepared for changing weather and road conditions during the morning commute today. Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations,” wrote Environment Canada in a weather bulletin.
Drivers are being urged to leave extra time on their commute and ensure their vehicle is equipped with snow tires.
Monday’s snowfall also led to a number of snow-related power outages.
“Snow, landing on top of some trees on those trees making contact with some of our power lines. So as a result, a couple of thousand people in the Lower Mainland and some sections of the Fraser Valley last service for a couple of hours,” said Kyle Donaldson, a spokesperson for BC Hydro.
Power to the majority of customers was expected to be restored by noon.
“Northern Vancouver Island was hit as well with a substantial amount of snow. There are several thousand customers at last check, I think it was about 7,000 customers on Northern Vancouver Island without power,” said Donaldson late Monday morning.
Donaldson says it’s important that people are prepared to be without power for an extended period of time.
“Make sure you have an emergency preparedness kit in your house. If you come across a downed power line, you should stay away, consider it live and call 911 right away,” he said.
After surviving heat dome, a windstorm, and multiple atmospheric rivers all within months, it appears most Coquitlam residents are taking this storm in stride.
“I like the snow, but not very much because, it’s lots of work. I’m Italian, the place I come from there’s no snow around,” said Coquitlam resident Alessandro with a laugh as he shoveled the sidewalk in front of his home.
A few blocks away, the Rathod family was delighted to be experiencing a real Canadian winter. They immigrated from India on the weekend.
“It’s our first year and my daughter is enjoying the snow,” said Tejas Rathod.
His daughter Kupar giggled as she dove into the snowy lawn.
“I already made a snow angel, I’m just jumping in the snow,” she explained.
Monday’s snowfall likely won’t be the family’s last to enjoy this season.
Environment Canada is forecasting a weak La Nina this winter, which could lead to cooler than average temperatures.
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