Snow is on the way to Vancouver Island for the first time this season.
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for three Island highways, including highways 4, 19 and 28. It says elevations above 250 metres will likely see wet snow starting sometime Tuesday through Tuesday night.
This includes the Port Alberni summit between Coombs and Port Alberni and Sutton Pass between Port Alberni and Kennedy Lake, the weather office says in the statement issued Monday afternoon.
It says higher elevations of Highway 28 between Gold River and Campbell River and Highway 19 between Port Hardy and Campbell River will also see snow.
According to Environment Canada, a low-pressure system from the Gulf of Alaska is moving towards the B.C. south coast, bringing in cold air and snow levels.
“Combined with the intensity of the precipitation near the low as it brushes Vancouver Island, snow levels will drop to as low as 250 metres,” reads the statement.
“Accumulations will vary depending on the intensity of the precipitation and the amount of melting as it falls on warm ground.”
Environment Canada posts updates here.
Heavy rain for Greater Victoria, Malahat, parts of East Island
A weather statement warning of heavy rain is also in effect for parts of the Island, including Greater Victoria, Malahat Highway and the East Island from Duncan to Fanny Bay, as well as the Southern Gulf Islands.
Environment Canada, in the statement issued Monday, says these areas could see 30 to 50 millimetres of heavy rain Tuesday through Tuesday night.
“Currently, there is still some uncertainty with the exact precipitation amount associated with this system,” it says.
“As precipitation rate intensifies and the airmass cools, it is possible to see rain become mixed with wet snow over higher terrain.”
The weather office is asking travellers to keep an eye on the forecast and adjust their driving to the changing road conditions.
Annually on Oct. 1, the requirement to have snow tires equipped on vehicles comes into effect. On the Island, they’re 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, including studded winter, winter-rated, all-weather and all-season.
🌧️📡🌧️ SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT from @environmentca : Tuesday AM to Tuesday PM, expect rainfall amounts of 30-50 mm for #BCHwy1 Victoria Malahat Duncan #BCHwy1A Nanaimo Southern Gulf Islands #BCHwy19 #BCHwy19A East Vancouver Island.
Possible wet snow +rain at higher elevations.
— DriveBC (@DriveBC) October 23, 2023
-With files from CHEK’s Laura Brougham