B.C. endures the start of a messy couple of days
Monday, February 10, 2014, 10:30 AM -
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British Columbia's unseasonal and bitterly cold weather will soon be pushed out by warm Pacific air - but the transition isn't a smooth one.
People who took Family Day off can be glad they don't have to drive anywhere this morning, from the Island and Lower Mainland all the way up to the high mountain passes. The snow that began last night will make enough of a mess of the roads on Vancouver Island and a good chunk of the mainland, and once the warm air moves though, that will change to rain.
"There is a risk of patchy freezing rain during this transition, particularly through inland Vancouver Island and along the Lower Fraser Valley," Weather Network meteorologist Gina Ressler said
Amounts range from 2-5 cm across Metro Vancouver, less than that for Victoria, and 15-30 cm in the higher elevations and inland north an central coast.
Travellers through the mountain passes should be aware of the conditions, especially with up to 30 cm expected in some stretches.
As for the rain, Environment Canada issued freezing rain warnings in the Fraser Valley area, including Chilliwack, switching to rain as the day wears on.
The heaviest is expected to fall across the western shores of Vancouver Island.
All this messy weather is being brought into the province by a two-wave Pacific low pressure system, with Monday's dose subsiding into the evening.
ROUND TWO: Tuesday
But Family Day will be just a warm-up, and not the good kind, considering how the second low pressure system, beginning Tuesday afternoon, is expected to bring even heavier precipitation amounts.
"Significant rainfall is possible along the coast, while heavy snow is likely in parts of the Interior and in the high elevation mountain passes," Ressler says.
Right now, 40-60 mm is possible across Vancouver and the Lower Fraser Valley from this system, along with up to 30 cm in the interior and higher passes.
This wave will tap into subtropical moisture funneled in from warmer climes by a Pineapple Express.
The good news is, this infusion of warmer air will lead to an ACTUAL warm-up - no doubt welcome among people in British Columbia.
Parts of the province have been under an Arctic Outflow warning for more than a week, and the province has a whole has shivered beneath bitterly cold temperatures, with Sunday being no exception.
It's been so cold in B.C. that long-time temperature records have fallen like dominos, including one record at the Vancouver Airport that had stood since 1966.