A steady snowfall greeted early risers in Vancouver and Victoria on Thursday as yet another wintry storm spread over the South Coast and Vancouver Island. Frosty temperatures and fast-paced snow will lead to slick travel conditions through the morning hours. We’re looking ahead to another system this weekend, followed by a warm-up to more seasonable temperatures next week. More on Thursday’s snow and the forecast into the new year, 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!
THURSDAY: SNOW CONTINUES THROUGH THE MORNING
British Columbia is still in the midst of a brutal cold spell gripping much of Western Canada. Arctic outflow warnings remain in effect for some areas. Vancouver airport recently recorded its coldest temperature in half a century.
A centre of low pressure sliding down the B.C. coast was responsible for the province’s latest tangle with snowfall.
Snow, possibly heavy at times, will continue into late Thursday morning before tapering off.
By the end of the storm, we can expect to see widespread totals of 5-10 cm of snow around the South Coast and much of Vancouver Island. Southern Vancouver Island could see higher accumulations, with totals of 10-15 cm possible west of the Malahat.
Frigid air temperatures have allowed precipitation to fall as all snow down to sea level, and the snow is having no problem sticking to roads and other paved surfaces with subfreezing ground temperatures across the entire region.
Snow-covered roads may make travel difficult for a time across much of southern B.C., especially in Metro Vancouver and the mountain passes.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) issued snowfall warnings for Metro Vancouver and portions of Vancouver Island for this latest bout of wintry precipitation.
“Most regions will see close to 5 cm accumulate rapidly within 3 to 6 hours during the overnight hours when the snowfall will be most intense,” ECCC said in its statement. “Visibility may be impacted in heavy snow and quickly accumulating snow may make travel difficult.”
LOOKING AHEAD: A PATTERN CHANGE IN TIME FOR THE NEW YEAR
It’s been a long week along the South Coast for folks who aren’t acclimated to a true spell of winter weather. The last time Vancouver saw a temperature above freezing was on Christmas Day.
Fortunately, a pattern change will arrive in time for the new year, potentially giving the city its first above-freezing temperature in a week by New Year’s Day. The active pattern will allow milder Pacific air to flow over southern B.C. once again, pushing temperatures above freezing and a little closer to seasonal for this time of year.
Unsettled weather will return with the warmer temperatures. Precipitation should remain all rain for lower elevations, with substantial rainfall totals possible through early next week. Abundant snow will continue for mountainous areas, which is welcome news for ski resorts.
Thumbnail courtesy of Alma Tolentino in Nanaimo, B.C.
Stay tuned to The Weather Network for the latest on the snow and cold across British Columbia.