New weather alerts for parts of Vancouver Island warn of snow, freezing rain

New weather alerts for parts of Vancouver Island warn of snow, freezing rain
File photo.

Another round of snow is on its way to East and Inland Vancouver Island, says Environment Canada in new weather alerts issued Wednesday evening.

Around 6 p.m. Jan. 17, the weather agency posted a snowfall warning for East Vancouver Island, from Duncan to Campbell River, saying snowfall amounts of 10 to 20 centimetres are expected Thursday afternoon to Friday morning.

Meanwhile, the agency in a winter storm warning, also issued around 6 p.m., says Inland Vancouver Island can expect 10 to 15 cm of snow and a “prolonged period of freezing rain” starting around noon Thursday through Friday.

The Inland Island, which includes Port Alberni, could also experience gusty winds.

“A Pacific low-pressure system combined with lingering cold air” is to blame for the inbound winter weather, according to Environment Canada, which says snow on the East Island should transition to rain by Friday.

On the Inland Island, it notes that the snow will turn to freezing rain overnight Thursday and continue through Friday. That’s prompting a warning for drivers to be cautious.

“Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions,” the weather agency says, adding, “Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery” and “may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow.”

Other parts of B.C. are under weather alerts as well.

The new alerts for the Island come following since-lifted advisories for Greater Victoria, East Vancouver Island and Inland Vancouver Island, where Environment Canada predicted as much as 15 cm of snow would fall Wednesday.

Schools across the Island were closed Wednesday, while flights were delayed or cancelled and both BC Transit and Canada Post warned of service disruptions.

LOOK: Photo gallery showcases Vancouver Island’s first major snowfall of 2024

Meteorologist Armel Castellan told CHEK News snow events on the South Coast are “not super easy to predict,” but because the region has experienced “a lot of cold over the last week, that’s predisposing us to having snow.”

He said the modelling the agency uses “trends,” adding in an interview Tuesday, “There are updates every six hours. When we see trends, it ups our confidence in the forecasting. It’s still imperfect.”

People are encouraged to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada by visiting its website. To report severe weather, send the agency an email or post to X (formerly Twitter) using #BCStorm.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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