Enjoy the still, peaceful winter air because a Pacific frontal system is about to join with the icy Arctic airmass over BC to bring more snow.
In the morning on Thursday, December 22, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) updated a winter storm warning for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
On the South Coast, starting Thursday night and lasting until Christmas Eve on Saturday, travel conditions are expected to be “challenging due to heavy snow, ice pellets, freezing rain, and heavy rain on snow or ice.”
Here’s a look at the forecast:
After the storm, it looks like things will warm up, and we’ll get rain again. But before that, it will get messy.
ECCC is calling for heavy snow, snow mixed with ice pellets, freezing rain, and then more heavy rain. That transition from snow to rain creates the perfect conditions for freezing rain, which could have a significant impact on road conditions, says ECCC.
Between 10 cm and 20 cm of snow is expected, and there will be localized strong winds and windchill of -25°C thanks to the Arctic outflow.
In Metro Vancouver, it will start to get warmer faster than in the Fraser Valley, where extreme cold conditions will continue a bit longer.
Heavy rain could also create localized flooding, especially as the snow starts to melt and drains are blocked with snow.
Multiple agencies warn against travel and ECCC says to look out for flooding in low-lying areas and reduced visibility due to heavy and blowing snow. Ice build-up could cause tree branches to break, said ECCC, so folks should take extra care when walking or driving in stormy weather.
Stay safe and follow updates from ECCC, especially as you travel this week.