After a week of challenging winter weather on parts of Vancouver Island, especially for drivers who were caught unprepared, Environment Canada says more appears to be on the way.
A mix of “patchy freezing drizzle” and the potential for up to four centimetres of snow will impact drivers on their Tuesday morning commute, the weather agency said in special weather statements issued for Greater Victoria, the Southern Gulf Islands, the Malahat Highway and eastern and inland Vancouver Island.
On the east coast of the Island, the statement is in effect specifically for Courtenay to Campbell River, Duncan to Nanaimo and Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay, while Lake Cowichan, Port Alberni and Duncan will also be affected.
“The recent cold weather has primed the south coast for low-elevation snowfall,” Environment Canada said. “A low-pressure system will spin up over Vancouver Island producing periods of light snow and a risk of freezing drizzle beginning early Tuesday morning.”
Temperatures will rise above freezing Tuesday afternoon, causing light snow to turn into light rain, though areas near Campbell River will likely continue to see the white stuff.
The freezing drizzle should be enough to give some drivers pause before attempting to head over the Malahat.
Last week, workers for highway maintenance contractor Emcon Services Inc. said tow-truck operators were tasked with removing a number of vehicles that were abandoned during Tuesday’s snowstorm.
The “majority” of vehicles removed did not have the proper winter tires, an operations manager told CHEK News.
Winter tires or all-season mud and snow tires with a minimum tread depth of 3.5 millimetres are required for all drivers on the Malahat from Oct. 1 to March 31, and those not meeting the requirement face a $121 fine if caught.
“Weather in the mountains can change suddenly resulting in hazardous driving conditions,” said Environment Canada.