Environment Canada issues snow warnings and advisories for parts of Vancouver Island

Environment Canada issues snow warnings and advisories for parts of Vancouver Island
Photo credit: Nicholas Pescod/CHEK News

The potential for heavy accumulating snowfall on Vancouver Island Monday has prompted Environment Canada to issue weather warnings and alerts for parts of the region, from Greater Victoria to the Nanaimo area.

A snowfall warning was issued Sunday afternoon for East Vancouver Island from Duncan to Nanaimo, while a snowfall alert, or special weather statement, was issued earlier in the day for the Saanich Peninsula in Greater Victoria.

Ken Dosanjh, meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, tells CHEK News that cool arctic air colliding with a low-pressure system is providing ample moisture responsible for the anticipated weather.

“So you bring those two ingredients into effect and that leads to possible concerns for snowfall,” said Dosanjh in an interview.

The East Island in particular is expected to see up to 10 centimetres of snow late Monday morning and another 5 cm at night, as pockets of flurries may reach sea level to the south, according to Environment Canada.

“As it crosses the Strait of Georgia, localized pockets of heavy snow will develop across southeast Vancouver Island,” the agency said in its statement.

“Snow levels will initially be near 200 metres but may drop to sea levels depending on precipitation intensity. Confidence in occurrence is medium, but confidence in exact area and snowfall accumulation is low as it will be highly variable.”

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Snow in the forecast has prompted road maintenance crews like Mainroad to prepare, with Dillon Thornton of Emcon Services saying trucks are putting brine on highways across the South Island in anticipation of changing conditions.

Both companies told CHEK News that snowplows and sand and salt trucks are also on standby and Thornton is urging those behind the wheel to also watch out for crews clearing roads.

“Make sure you are not passing a snow plow on the right,” said Thornton.

“If you see yellow flashing lights, slow down, move over and please allow our drivers to get through if you are in a traffic jam and there is snow on the ground. Likely those trucks are trying to get ahead of you so they can make the roads safe to drive on.”

READ ALSO: Repairs underway after wind storm downs trees and knocks out power for thousands

The warnings and alerts follow wind warnings issued Friday for B.C.’s south coast, where howling gusts toppled trees onto power lines and left around 330,000 homes in the dark.

Meanwhile, other parts of B.C., like the Okanagan Valley and Fraser Valley, are also under snowfall warnings, as the North Coast and Central Coast are under Arctic outflow warnings.

Echoing Thornton, Environment Canada urges drivers to prepare for sudden changes in conditions as accumulating snow may make driving difficult in some locations, leading to potential travel delays and reduced visibility.

The agency asks people to monitor its alerts and forecasts and report severe weather by emailing [email protected] or tweeting #BCStorm. Commuters can also check DriveBC for up-to-date weather conditions.

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