Potential for up to 10 cm of snow on three Island highways: Environment Canada

Potential for up to 10 cm of snow on three Island highways: Environment Canada
By noon on Oct. 24, 2023, around 10 centimetres of snow had falled at Deer Lodge.

Snow is in the forecast for parts of the Island, and other areas are expected to see rainfall, which comes with the possibility of wet snow.

By 11:30 a.m., snow had already begun accumulating on Mount Washington and crews were out clearing the roads.

Around the Deer Lodge area, around 10 cm of snow had accumulated.

Snow special weather statements

East Vancouver Island – Courtenay to Campbell River, Inland Vancouver Island, and North Vancouver Island have special weather statements issued for snow, with snow expected on elevations above 250 metres. There is not expected to be any snow accumulation at sea levels or in any communities.

There is a potential for 10 centimetres at the highest elevations of highways 4, 19 and 28.

This is the result of a low pressure system moving in to B.C.’s south coast, according to Environment Canada. As cold air is drawn in, snow will fall to as low as 250 metres.

Higher elevations of Port Alberni summit between Coombs and Port Alberni, Sutton Pass between Port Alberni and Kennedy Lake, Highway 28 between Gold River and Campbell River and Highway 19 between Port Hardy and Campbell River are expected to see snow.

“Accumulations will vary depending on the intensity of the precipitation and the amount of melting as it falls on warm ground,” the weather statement says.

“Travellers are advised to keep a close eye on the forecast and adjust their driving to the changing road conditions.”

By 2 p.m., snow had begun falling in Cumberland.

Rainfall special weather statements with chance of wet snow

The Malahat Highway, East Vancouver Island – Duncan to Nanaimo, East Vancouver Island – Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay, Greater Victoria, and Southern Gulf Islands all have rainfall special weather statements issued, which come with the possibility of wet snow.

Rain is forecast to begin in the morning and intensify during the afternoon and evening commute. Snow may fall at elevations of 250 metres, and there is a possibility for wet snow near sea levels.

“No accumulation at sea level is forecast but may briefly accumulate at the Malahat summit,” the weather statement says.

Rain is expected to ease overnight as the low pressure system moves out.

“Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads,” the weather statement says. “Be prepared for possible winter conditions at higher elevations.”

RELATED: Wet roads require more stopping time, DriveBC reminds drivers

Snow tires required for most B.C. highways

Annually on Oct. 1, the requirement to have snow tires equipped on your vehicle comes into effect.

On Vancouver Island, snow tires are required to drive on the Malahat, highways 14, 18, 4, 28, and portions of Highway 19.

In B.C., there are four types of tires that meet the winter tire requirements:

  • Studded winter
  • Winter-rated
  • All-weather
  • All-season

The first three can be identified by a symbol of a three-peaked mountain with a snowflake inside of it on the sidewall of the tire, while all-season tires will have M+S on the sidewall.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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