Winter is coming: Snow on the way to Vancouver Island

Winter is coming: Snow on the way to Vancouver Island

WATCH: From record highs to frosty lows. On Monday, we’re learning cold weather could be hitting parts of Vancouver Island. There could also be a shortage of winter tires. Mary Griffin reports.

Snow and cold temperatures are on the way for Vancouver Island this weekend, arriving just in time for November.

In Victoria, a chance of rain or flurries is in the forecast for Saturday night, with a low of 1 degrees Celsius. There is also a 40 per cent chance of rain or flurries on Nov. 6, with a high of 8 C.

According to Environment Canada, snow is also expected on Saturday in Campbell River, Comox, Courtenay, Duncan, Esquimalt, Gonzales Point, the Gulf Islands,  Nanaimo, Port Alberni and Qualicum Beach.  Snow is in the forecast for Monday in all of those communities as well.

Armel Castellan, Environment Canada Meteorologist, said the conditions on the south coast will change quickly late Thurday night.   “We are actually going to get continental, polar air really quickly, you know, over the course of just several hours,” Castellan said. “It’s going to shift fairly dramatically.”

That change will happen overnight Thursday.  Friday morning will be cold, with the potential for flurries.

The Malahat may also see rain showers or flurries on Saturday night, with a low of 1 C. There is also a chance of rain or flurries on Monday and the weather agency said a high of 8 C is expected in that area.

Environment Canada said there will be periods of snow in Port Hardy on Sunday night, followed by snow or rain on Monday, with a high of 6 C.

Rain or snow is expected in Tofino and Ucluelet on Saturday night, followed by flurries on Sunday night. The area may also see flurries or rain on Monday.

That’s leading to a rush to get snow tires.  In Victoria, the staff at the Big “O” Tire shop, snow tires are only being installed during appointment.  “Right now it’s incredibly busy. We’re running about about six weeks ahead of schedule,” owner Kevin Jensen said. “And actually, we’ve been going great guns for about four weeks.”

Meanwhile, employees at Mainroad Contracting are preparing for winter according to operations manager Leon Bohmer.  “We generally prepare for the worst. And hope for the best,” Bohmer said. “So, we have our brine units, we have our salt, sand units. And lots of plows ready to go right now.”

Crews began last week spraying anti-icing over bridge decks on the highway. With a forecast calling for potential flurries on Vancouver Island mountain passes, including the Malahat and Sutton Pass, trucks are ready to roll.  “We plan for November first to be completely ready for whatever winter might have in store for us,” Bohmer said.

While it’s likely Greater Victoria will not be hit by snow this week, it could happen sooner rather than later this winter.

Vancouver Island snow. File photo.

Vancouver Island snow. File photo.

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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