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Moisture-packed system targets B.C., increased avalanche risk

Friday, February 19th 2021, 9:00 am - Closely monitoring a system that will move into the central northern coast Saturday morning and into the South Coast later in the day.

The effects of the system that moved into B.C. Thursday – rain at the coasts and snow at higher elevations – will linger slightly into Friday. But it's the one beyond that will really be transformative, bringing in a burst of more typically mild Pacific air, sweeping the last of the Arctic air from the province and sending freezing levels upward through the weekend. Details and timing, below.


WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Increased avalanche risk on some mountains, check conditions before hitting the slopes
  • Second system brings warmer Pacific moisture, sweeps out the last Arctic air
  • Milder continues continue at least through early next week

INTO FRIDAY: SCATTERED RAIN AND SNOW CONTINUES, RISING AVALANCHE RISK

This frontal system will be well on the wane by Friday, after delivering largely rain at the coasts, and snow at higher elevations, with either wet snow or a rain/snow mix above 200 metres.

Rainwise, it won't be a deluge by any means, with some 20-60 mm in western Vancouver Island and parts of the Lower Mainland.

BC Rain

Some of this moisture spreads into the Interior, including the Columbia and Rocky Mountains, with just a few centimetres forecast for valley bottoms.

Roughly 15 cm of snow can be expected into the early part of the weekend for eastern B.C. while the Coastal Mountains will be expecting pockets over 20 cm by Friday afternoon, which is great news for the powder-starved mountains.

BC snowfall amounts Feb. 19

Meanwhile, those who have plans to hit the slopes are encouraged to monitor conditions on avalanche.ca. Flurries and new snow are not expected to bond well to a slippery crust across the mountains in the South Coast on Friday. Expect avalanche size and sensitivity to increase as snowfall accumulates.

Avalanche risk Feb. 18

WEEKEND: SYSTEM #2 FLUSHES OUT THE COOLER AIR

The next system that will track through B.C. will be the grand finale that will flush out the remnant cooler air and fully replace it with the usual milder Pacific flow.

Freezing levels are set to spike later this weekend to levels not seen in recent weeks – above 1000 metres at times, all but banishing all chance of snow from most places except for the mountain passes and the ski hills.

flush

We expect heavy precipitation amounts with this system with some areas along the coast having the potential to see 75-125 mm of rain from Saturday through Monday morning, whereas the Lower Mainland could see 20-50 mm.

B.C. Rainfall Feb 19.

Beyond, milder temperatures continue into early next week, such that future systems will bring rain for populated areas, but still some snow for the ski areas and mountain passes.

WATCH BELOW: FRESH SNOW, STRONG WINDS CREATE DANGEROUS AVALANCHE CONDITIONS IN PARTS OF B.C. THIS WEEKEND

Be sure to check back for the latest updates on the unsettled conditions across B.C.

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