Falling snow persisted across many areas of Vancouver Island Monday evening as temperatures remained around the freezing mark.
Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning at 5:03 p.m., calling for an additional five centimetres of snow for East Vancouver Island Monday evening.
Highway crews had been out since the early morning clearing snow and heavy slush from roads and highways.
“So it’s a bit slushy, and drivers might find it a bit greasy out there, so make sure you give yourself some extra time and give lots of room for the plow trucks to do their job,” said Mainroad North Island manager Chris Cowley.
Drivers encountered slippery roads away from the immediate coast north of Shawnigan Lake.
“And that can change as a degree difference is all it takes to change from rain to snow, so we’re out there patrolling in areas that aren’t snowing, and we’re cycling the plow trucks in areas that are,” added Cowley.
Temperatures are forecast to rise, with snow changing to rain overnight.
The temperatures will remain above the freezing mark for the next couple of days before a major change comes barreling in on Thursday.
“So we will see some very cold air, it’s already in northern B.C. It’s going to make its way south and west,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan.
It will be cold with strong arctic outflow winds possibly producing warning-level wind chills of -20°C. The strong winds could also result in localized strait-effect snow squalls between Qualicum Beach and Ladysmith.
“You know, a quick five, 10 centimetres. They happened in Nanaimo and Lantzville in the past few years, so it’s one of those things that can materialize, but it can also just fizzle out if the winds are not just quite right,” added Castellan.
So, the time to get prepared is now.
“Winter tires make a huge difference, and I understand there’s a lot of people on Vancouver Island as a whole that don’t switch to winter tires considering the amount of winter we get, but it makes a massive difference when conditions are like this,” said Cowley.
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