Forecasts earlier this week calling for heavy snowfall during the first weekend of February are now deemed to be probable; late Thursday night, Environment Canada declared a snowfall warning for Metro Vancouver.
Snowfall in the region is anticipated to begin at approximately 10 am on Friday and continue through at least Saturday morning. According to Environment Canada, residents in the region can expect between 10 cm and 20 cm of snow by Saturday morning, with greater amounts at higher elevations and eastern municipalities.
A weak warm front will move northwards from Washington State on Friday morning and bring light snow to the Lower Mainland and Southern Vancouver Island on Friday morning and afternoon. And then beginning Friday evening, a low pressure system will move in and bring heavier snowfall.
The likelihood of any rainfall during this period is significantly reduced as temperatures will not exceed 0°C, but there is a chance on Friday night that snow may become mixed with or change to rain at lower elevations near the Strait of Georgia. As well, freezing rain is also a possibility in the Fraser Valley on Friday night.
Beyond Saturday, a chance of snow is currently forecasted for Sunday through Tuesday.
“Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions,” reads the federal weather agency’s snowfall warning. “Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow.”
This could be Metro Vancouver’s first snowfall since December 31. The region experienced six weeks of near-consecutive, sub-zero temperatures from December 5 to January 15, which led to a prolonged period of snow cover on the ground and the build-up of slick ice on roads.
On Thursday, following much public criticism over the perceived lack of preparation for the recent snowfall events, both the City of Vancouver and TransLink said they were preparing adequate measures for the anticipated conditions to come.