As B.C.’s South Coast braces for a significant snowstorm this weekend, Environment Canada has issued upgraded snowfall warnings for nearly all of Vancouver Island.
The upgraded warnings were issued Friday afternoon for west, central, and east Vancouver Island, the Southern Gulf Islands and the Malahat Highway from Goldstream to Mill Bay.
Total snowfall amounts are now expected to range from 5 to 15 cm, with local amounts up to 20 cm in some areas. The weather agency warns that this could result in deteriorating travel conditions, and drivers are advised to exercise caution on the roads.
With the snow expected to persist through Saturday and change to rain or flurries Saturday evening, Islanders are urged to prepare for rapidly evolving weather and adjust their plans accordingly.
Moving into the southern Interior, including parts of the Okanagan Valley along with the Thompson, Shuswap, Columbia and Kinbasket regions, the weather office says heavy snow is expected between Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening.
Special weather statements were also upgraded to snowfall warnings for Metro Vancouver, Howe Sound and the Sea-to-Sky region, the Sunshine Coast and the Fraser Valley, where snowfall could range from 15 centimetres to 35 at higher elevations.
Environment Canada says the snow in those areas is expected to intensify Saturday night before easing Sunday.
Meanwhile, a special weather statement is still in effect for Greater Victoria, where snowfall amounts are expected to range from five to 10 cm, down from an estimated maximum of 15 cm forecasted earlier Friday..
Extreme cold warnings remained in effect Thursday for the Chilcotin, Peace River and Elk Valley regions, with Arctic outflow warnings for the north and central coast.
But the weather office said some relief should come soon, as wind chill values throughout northern and southeastern B.C. are expected to gradually rise Friday.
An Arctic outflow warning has been added for Whistler along with a wind warning for Howe Sound.