Up to 10cm of snow expected for east Vancouver Island as Environment Canada issues warning

Up to 10cm of snow expected for east Vancouver Island as Environment Canada issues warning
File: Heavy snow falls in Victoria on Jan. 14, 2020.

Snow and cold temperatures will arrive Friday for many parts of Vancouver Island, meaning a white Christmas could be in the forecast for some residents.

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for eastern Vancouver Island and special weather statements for Greater Victoria, the Malahat Highway and inland Vancouver Island ahead of the blast of wintry weather.

Overnight Friday, a weather system will bring precipitation that will end up as a mix of rain and snow for areas closer to the water, and snow for higher terrain.

Southeast winds will also develop over the Strait of Georgia and could result in “locally enhanced snowfall” for parts of eastern Vancouver Island, including the areas of Courtenay to Campbell River, Duncan to Nanaimo and Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay.

Environment Canada says nearly 10 centimetres of snow could fall on inland areas and higher terrain, while up to five centimetres could fall near the water.

RELATED: Cold wave could bring frigid temperatures to Vancouver Island, with snow likely for Christmas

Arctic air will then push out to the coast later Christmas days, bringing an increased chance of widespread snowfall, Environment Canada said.

“Once this cold arctic air settles in around the south coast, temperatures are expected to be well below seasonal through the end of December,” it said.

Environment Canada warns that with the cooler temperatures there comes an increased risk of hypothermia and frostbite, and residents should dress for warmth when outdoors.

The agency also says that weather can change rapidly in the mountains, including the Malahat Highway, so drivers should be prepared for hazardous driving conditions.

Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety said people in the province should do what they can to be prepared for this weather.

“It is vital that all of us step up to prepare to do what is necessary to protect themselves, their families, including friends or neighbours. I urge everyone to pay attention to the weather forecasts and road closures,” Farnworth said.

“Make sure that you put together an emergency kit in case of power outages. Follow directions of your local government to find the nearest emergency warming shelter. Bring food, water and warm clothes or blankets when traveling by car. And above all else, be safe.”

This story was updated to include a comment from the minister of public safety.


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