Environment Canada has reaffirmed and updated its winter storm warning for the Metro Vancouver region. The federal government’s weather agency says hazardous winter conditions are expected beginning Saturday evening with the arrival of 2015’s first “major winter storm.”
A moisture-packed Pacific warm front from the west and an arctic outflow from the north will arrive in Metro Vancouver Saturday evening. A mixture of rain and snow will develop this evening and then switch over to snowfall overnight when temperatures dip to freezing.
Some low elevation and waterside areas within the City of Vancouver might only receive a trace of snow while areas at a higher elevation such as UBC and Point Grey could receive several centimetres.
Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, municipalities in the North Shore Mountains and parts of Burnaby, Surrey and the Fraser Valley can expect higher accumulations of up to 20 cms.
However, the snow is not expected to stay for long and conditions will quickly deteriorate. Snowfall will change into heavy rainfall by late Sunday when the arctic outflow influence ends and is replaced by warm Pacific air.
Freezing rain is likely to occur in the Fraser Valley on Saturday night. In addition, the region can expect heavy rainfall amounts of more than 50 mm from Sunday night through Monday. Temperatures will reach a high of 6°C on Monday.
“Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions,” reads a statement by Environment Canada. “Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow. Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve.”
The three ski hills at Metro Vancouver’s North Shore Mountain will likely receive a much-needed dose of fresh powder cover. Over at Whistler Blackcomb, more than 40 cms of new snow is in the forecast for Sunday through Monday.
Feature Image: Snowfall via Shutterstock