Rogers Pass on Dec. 19, 2019. (DriveBC photo)

UPDATED: Up to 60 cm of snow, wind expected on southern B.C. highways

Travellers being asked to use caution ahead of Christmas weekend travel

Southern B.C. is expected to be blanketed in heavy snow through the weekend – just as the winter season officially begins – sparking a number of weather warnings from Environment Canada.

“An approaching frontal system will track inland today and stall across the southern Interior tonight,” the weather bulletin reads, adding that wind and snow will make for hazardous winter conditions along major highways.

On Thursday afternoon, the weather office issued a wind warning for Victoria, forecasting gusts of 70 kilometres per hour to 90 kilometres per hour near Haro Strait. Those winds are anticipated to ease by the end of the day.

The Kootenays are expected to be hit the hardest, according to the national weather agency, with forecasters calling for 30 centimetres to as much as 60 centimetres of snow by Friday afternoon in elevated areas such as the Kootenay Pass on Highway 3, Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass along Highway 1 and the Allison Pass along Highway 3.

Meanwhile, the Okanagan Connector and Coquihalla Highway is expected to see 15 to 25 centimetres of snow by late Friday afternoon. The Elk Valley and Whistler could see 15 centimetres of snow by Friday morning.

Lower elevations in the Okanagan and Kootenays will see five centimetres at minimum. In the Fraser Valley, 70 millimetres of rain is expected.

Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist warned that those planning to travel Thursday should leave as soon as possible or risk driving through dangerous conditions.

“If people need to travel, it’s almost too late — they need to go right now. By the middle of the evening, the snow is going to start,” he said.

DriveBC and Environment Canada are urging travellers to pack emergency kits in their car, which include water, food and any necessary medications, as well as a flashlight and first-aid kit.

ALSO READ: High avalanche risk forecasted for B.C interior

Wintry weather welcome on B.C. ski hills

While the weather will likely cause commotion on major roadways, the fresh powder is being welcomed by skiing enthusiasts.

Big White said in its daily snow report that its expecting a “coating of the finest Okanagan champagne powder, right through till Sunday.” It has seen five centimetres of fresh snow in the past 24 hours.

Sun Peaks has seen 10 centimetres of snow in the past 24 hours.

Whistler Blackcomb is expecting that the mild, moist air coming through from Washington State will create better snow quality on runs and plenty of fresh snowfall in the village.

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is also expected to see periods of snow through until Saturday, before changing into isolated flurries.

On Vancouver Island, Mount Washington Alpine Resort will be opening Friday, after receiving 41 centimetres of snow in the past 48 hours.

– with a file from Kelowna Capital News


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP arrests five suspects in multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking investigation

Cocaine, prohibited loaded handgun, weapons, stolen vehicles seized

Documentary on legendary Chief Tzouhalem to be filmed in Cowichan

Film is the latest project by Drama Camp Productions

Bottle drive Saturday to assist sick Cowichan teenager and family

Sammy Dubois, 14, disgnosed with rare neurological disorder

Editorial: Alternative approval process is not the enemy

Not everything should go to a referendum.

Provincial success stands out at Cowichan Secondary awards

Wrestling, basketball and field hockey teams earn recognition in shortened year

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Most Read