Heavy snow moves into B.C. as dangerous cold locks in for the holidays

·3 min read
Heavy snow moves into B.C. as dangerous cold locks in for the holidays
Heavy snow moves into B.C. as dangerous cold locks in for the holidays

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British Columbia remains locked into a very active storm track that continues to bring back-to-back systems and copious amounts of heavy rain and snow. Just as one system wraps up, the next is already on the door step and will continue to keep conditions unsettled right through the Christmas weekend. In addition to next pulses of rain and low-elevation snow, some dangerously cold Arctic air will reach the South Coast, bringing one of the coldest Christmases and Boxing Days on record for the Vancouver area. More on the timing and impacts, below.

MUST SEE: Canada's 2021 Holiday Snow Report

THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY: ROUNDS OF RAIN AND SNOW PERSIST, DANGEROUSLY COLD CONDITIONS SETTLE IN

Just as one storm system departs, new weather warnings and statements are already in place for the next storm that threatens more heavy snow across parts of B.C. through Saturday. Some lingering rainfall will continue across the Lower Mainland as the current system departs the South Coast through Thursday, with winter storm warnings hanging on across the interior before snowfall rates gradually ease through the afternoon.

bctemps
bctemps

A new low pressure system is already on the doorstep however, and will scrape the South Coast late Thursday night, continuing into early Friday, with round one of the low elevation snowfall expected. Initially, this system will bring a mix of rain and snow for areas closer to the water, with primarily snow for inland areas and higher terrain.

"Freezing levels will be near sea level at this point, allowing for snow to fall right to coastal areas," says Jessie Uppal, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

A special weather statement is already in effect for the Metro Vancouver area and across Vancouver Island for this next swath of heavy snow and colder temperatures set to lock in for Christmas.

bcsnow (4)
bcsnow (4)

After a short lived break late day Friday, another round of snowfall will make its way across the region through the overnight and into early Saturday.

"Snowfall will be heavy at times for the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island and will continue right into Boxing Day on Sunday as well," says Uppal.

In all, between 15-30 cm of snow is forecast for Metro Vancouver through Sunday, with 30-40 cm expected from Abbotsford to Hope and across Vancouver Island as well. Nanaimo may see snowfall amounts exceed these totals with some Strait enhancement.

UNUSUAL AND EXTENDED STRETCH OF ARCTIC AIR WITH POTENTIALLY RECORD BREAKING CHRISTMAS COLD

In addition to the heavy snow, Arctic air and dangerously cold conditions will reach the South Coast this weekend. This could bring one of the coldest Christmases and Boxing Days on record for the Vancouver area.

A daytime high of 1°C is currently forecast for Vancouver on Saturday (Christmas Day). The coldest daytime high recorded on Christmas for the city was -1.7°C tied in 1924, 1964 and 1971.

bcsaturday (1)
bcsaturday (1)

This extraordinary stretch of frigid weather expected for the South Coast will continue through the end of the month, with additional opportunities for snow, rain and even mixing at times.

Check back for the latest forecast updates across British Columbia.

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