Up to 15 cm of snow possible in parts of Metro Vancouver
Published Tuesday, February 13, 2018 5:00PM PST
Residents of B.C.'s South Coast could wake up under a blanket of as much as 15 centimetres of snow Wednesday morning, Environment Canada forecasts.
The weather agency issued special weather statements for the area between eastern Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley Tuesday as a storm system from the Alaskan panhandle tracked south.
The Pacific moisture will combine with a mass of Arctic air that has hovered over the Island, Metro Vancouver, Howe Sound and the Valley for several days. The Southern Gulf Islands and Sunshine Coast also fall under the weather statement.
The anticipated result is snowfall over the South Coast, expected to fall between Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.
While the snow will likely have stopped by the morning commute, in areas where there is a high accumulation, those driving in could face weather-related delays.
"We are expecting anywhere from really a couple of centimetres – two to four – to about 15 centimetres on the North Shore. The higher you are, the most likely you'll see some snow accumulations," Environment Canada meteorologist Cindy Yu said.
The type of precipitation in Vancouver itself will depend on the temperature when the precipitation starts, but it is possible even as far south as Richmond, Yu said.
On Vancouver Island, snow is only expected to accumulate in elevations higher than 200 metres.
Compared to last winter, Metro Vancouver has hardly seen any snow.
"We've really seen just two snowfall events this year so far. Both events happened in December," Yu said.
"But Vancouver has been really warm this winter. It's mostly because we've had systems after systems rolling through from the Pacific. With all that warm moisture from the Pacific, our temperatures have been on the warmer side."
Yu said last Feb. 7, there was 20 centimetres of snow on the ground at YVR. This year, there's been nothing but rain in January and February.
Looking ahead to spring, she said there's a chance of wetter-than-normal weather due to the El Nino climate cycle. The warm, damp weather trend is likely to last through the remainder of winter as well, she said.
For now, those travelling through mountain passes are warned that the weather could change quickly, resulting in sudden hazardous driving conditions. Anyone driving in mountainous areas is advised to check conditions on DriveBC's website before leaving.
Further northeast, a large swath of the province is under a snowfall warning.
Regions from Williston to Kinbasket can expect between 10 and 20 centimetres of snow on Tuesday as a Pacific front sweeps down through the Interior.
The Kinbasket and North Columbia areas are expected to see the heaviest snowfall.
Drivers are advised to use winter tires and chains, and warned that visibility may be suddenly reduced.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Scott Roberts