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Rounds of snow target southern B.C. this weekend

Friday, December 3rd 2021, 8:00 pm - People very close to the coasts are in line for a few flakes by Saturday morning, with a second chance at more wintry weather Sunday night into Monday.

Freezing levels are set to take a plunge into this weekend, such that moisture from an incoming system will manifest as snow for areas relatively close to the sea, while making travel through the mountain passes tricky. Special weather statements are in effect for Metro Vancouver warning of the wet snow into early Saturday, with snowfall warnings in effect for higher elevations of the interior. Another early winter storm looks to target southern B.C. later in the weekend, with the potential for 5-10 cm to fall across parts of the Lower Mainland. More on the timing and impacts, below.


Visit our Complete Guide to Winter 2022 for an in-depth look at the Winter Forecast, tips to plan for it, and much more!


THE WEEKEND: VERY LOW FREEZING LEVELS BRING ROUNDS OF SNOW NEAR THE COAST

The cavalcade of atmospheric rivers that plagued B.C. last weekend into mid-week were flush with Pacific moisture, and relatively warm temperatures. At the peak last weekend, freezing levels were well above 2000 metres, with the rain and temperatures serving to melt much of the snow that fell in the weeks prior, worsening runoff into the region's swollen rivers.

MUST SEE: Highway 1 to Hope reopens as rains ease in B.C., flood warnings remain in place

This coming weekend, it will be very much the opposite, with freezing levels well below average, and down in the 200-300 metre range.

BC freezing level

That will be a significant factor in what's ahead for the province to kick off the weekend. A new system was set begin impacting the region through the overnight hours of Friday into Saturday, with temperatures dropping to near-freezing in the Vancouver area, and on Vancouver Island.

By Saturday morning, areas along the South Coast relatively near sea level, such as West Vancouver, North Vancouver, eastern Vancouver Island and Simon Fraser University will be waking up to a few snowflakes. Amounts will be relatively light, and any accumulations will be short-lived, but still, it will mean a period of snow for a part of the province which sees precious little of it.

BCLMLSnow

Amounts do scale up with elevation, such that parts of the Interior are more likely to be in the 5-15 cm range. Presently, however, it looks to be somewhat uneven, travellers though some highway passes, Rogers Pass and Eagle Pass, should be prepared for slow going.

B.C. highway passes

The snow comes to an end for the coasts through the morning, and in the afternoon and evening for the Interior.

BEYOND: SECOND DOSE OF SNOW TO START NEXT WEEK

Those freezing levels will stay low enough that people near the coasts will get a second chance at seeing some flakes, as a second system, featuring more moisture than the first, approaches Sunday night, with effects continuing into Monday.

"Very marginal temperatures are expected for coastal areas, but there's still the potential for 5-10 cm for parts of the Metro Vancouver area and closely watching the east coast of Vancouver Island, especially Nanaimo to Campbell River, with 10-20+ cm of snow possible," says Dr. Doug Gillham, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Moderate snowfall is expected across the southern Interior as well, with 5-10+ cm possible for the Okanagan Valley.

"We'll see yet another snow threat Tuesday night and Wednesday," Gillham adds.

Check back as we continue to monitor these incoming systems.

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