Snowfall possible in Metro Vancouver starting later this week with Arctic outflow

Jan 5 2020, 7:01 pm

There is a growing chance Metro Vancouver could see its first real snowfall of the winter season as early as later in the week, coupled with the increasing confidence of arctic air outflow events.

Environment Canada’s latest forecast indicates there is a 60% chance of flurries at sea level for its Vancouver International Airport station during the overnight period on Thursday, when temperatures dip to a low of 1°C.

The possibility of snowfall will continue through Friday, when temperatures drop to the freezing mark, and potentially Saturday, according to the federal meteorological agency.

environment canada

Forecast for Vancouver International Airport, as of January 5, 2020. (Environment Canada)

The forecast by The Weather Network (TWN) is also in alignment with the general expectation of a forthcoming cold trend beginning over the weekend.

They anticipate a prolonged period of freezing temperatures beginning Saturday, with temperatures thereafter hovering around and below 0°C. There will be a risk of snowfall throughout next week, starting Saturday.

The Weather Network

Forecast for Vancouver, as of January 5, 2020. (The Weather Network)

According to TWN meteorologist Tyler Hamilton today, the confidence is increasing for significant low elevation snow and arctic air outflow events for coastal BC areas.

As well, the United States’ National Weather Service’s Seattle office is predicting a “colder weather pattern” for much of western Canada and the western US, starting late this week and through the following week, although they say it is too early to accurately speculate on precipitation.

These are, of course, longer-term forecasts, which are always subject to significant fluctuations. Environment Canada normally issues special weather statements or snowfall warnings closer to the date of the expected weather pattern.

Over the short term, Environment Canada has indicated Metro Vancouver residents can expect more heavy rainfall and strong winds for the start of this week.

Following the storm that hit earlier today, a new Pacific storm is set to impact the region on Monday and Tuesday, with snowfall a possibility for higher terrain.

Snowfall warnings are currently in effect for mountain highway routes leading out of the Lower Mainland, including the Coquihalla Highway and Highway 3, with total amounts of up to 30 cm.

On the Sea to Sky Highway between Squamish and Whistler, between 20 cm and 25 cm is expected starting near midnight and through Tuesday.