Weather alerts expanded for Vancouver Island, schools still open

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Environment Canada has issued more weather alerts related to snow and freezing weather on Vancouver Island.

Snowfall warnings are in effect for Greater Victoria, East Vancouver Island, Inland Vancouver Island, and the Malahat highway on Thursday.

A wind warning was also issued for North Vancouver Island on Thursday.

Just before 10 a.m., Environment Canada issued a snowfall alert for Greater Victoria, where up  to 10 centimetres of snow is expected to fall.

The weather office added that freezing rain is possible in the region Thursday evening.

RELATED: BC Transit warns of service impacts in Victoria due to snow

While most schools on Vancouver Island were closed Wednesday, almost all schools were open on Thursday.

The Campbell River School District did note that Sayward School was closed, as well as the Route 8 and Route 12 buses between Sayward and Campbell River, due to snow.

Just after noon, the Saanich School District said it was remaining open Thursday, but that parents were welcome to pick up kids early, or allow them to leave campus on their own if they are signed out under usual protocols. The Sooke School District shared similar messaging.

Post-secondary schools in Greater Victoria also announced closures Thursday, after initially opening for the day. Royal Roads University closed its campus at 10:20 a.m., Camosun College shut its doors at noon and University of Victoria closed at 1 p.m.

Families should check with their individual schools since not all school districts are operating their buses.

Malahat and East Vancouver Island

In East Vancouver Island and the Malahat, Environment Canada expects 10 to 20 centimetres of snow to fall, roughly spanning from Thursday afternoon into Friday morning.

The weather office adds that areas around Nanaimo and the Malahat highway should prepare for the snow to potentially turn into freezing rain in the evening.

“Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow,” said Environment Canada in its alert Thursday morning.

“Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions.”

Inland Vancouver Island

More snow is expected to fall over Inland Vancouver Island on Thursday, as well as a “prolonged period of freezing rain.”

Starting around noon until Friday morning, Environment Canada predicts 10 to 15 centimetres of snow to fall over the region.

It also warns that “gusty winds” are expected to blow through Inland Vancouver Island on Thursday.

North Vancouver Island

Meanwhile, a wind warning was posted for North Vancouver Island on Thursday morning.

Environment Canada says winds between 90 to 110 km/h are expected, especially in exposed coastal areas.

“Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage,” said the weather office. “High winds may result in power outages and fallen tree branches.”

The winds are expected to ease Thursday night before picking up again on Friday.

SEE ALSO: Snow day photo gallery showcases Vancouver Island’s first major snowfall of 2024

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