Messy system to bring saturating rain, low-elevation snow to B.C.

Digital Writers
·3 min read
Messy system to bring saturating rain, low-elevation snow to B.C.
Messy system to bring saturating rain, low-elevation snow to B.C.

Embedded content: https://players.brightcove.net/1942203455001/B1CSR9sVf_default/index.html?videoId=6217553309001

B.C. is in for another wave of heavy rain and wet snow Monday, courtesy of another moisture-fuelled Pacific low moving onshore. Freezing levels will plummet, even allowing for some wet snow to reach Vancouver during the day.

The snow should melt upon contact, but it could make for some tricky driving as there will also be rain. The mountain passes will see another blast of heavy snow, with 25-35 cm expected for some areas through Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, parts of Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland may see 50-75+ mm of rain. Numerous watches, warnings and special weather statements are in place. A closer look at the incoming system and if it will be a green or white Christmas this year, below.

WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Monday morning starts off with some heavy rain that will turn into wet snow

  • High-elevation snow to make driving the mountain passes difficult

  • White or green Christmas? Find out below!

Visit our Complete Guide to Winter 2021 for an in depth look at the Winter Forecast, Canada's ski season, and tips to plan for everything ahead!

MONDAY: RAIN, WET SNOW FOR LOWER ELEVATIONS, HEAVY ALPINE SNOW

The rain from the current low will gradually taper off Sunday morning, giving B.C. residents a much-needed break. However, conditions will take a soggy turn once again in the overnight hours, as rain and snow begin in southern and western Vancouver Island, as well as across the south Fraser Valley.

The potent low-pressure system will bring abundant moisture to southern sections of the South Coast by Monday morning. Areas with the heaviest precipitation will see the heavy rain switch over to heavy, wet snow above about 150 metres during the day. Mixed rain and snow is even possible at sea level.

Precipitation should not be as heavy for northern sections of Vancouver, so the snow level will likely stay above 200 metres. Snowfall accumulations aren't expected as snow will melt upon surface contact.

There are numerous winter storm watches and warnings, snowfall warnings and special weather statements in place across the province. As mentioned in the video above, there are two scenarios for precipitation, "boom vs bust." The two scenarios look like this:

Boom
Boom
Bust
Bust

Rainfall amounts will be considerable for parts of western Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, where 50-75+ mm is expected through Tuesday morning.

BCRain
BCRain

The system will bring heavier snowfall to the higher elevations of Vancouver Island, coastal and Interior mountains. Freezing levels will be fairly low, allowing for heavy accumulations along highway passes. Freezing levels will plummet to around 500 metres Monday.

Some of the mountain passes may see 25-35 cm of snow by the time it tapers off in the overnight hours Monday. Rainfall will also subside during this time along the South Coast.

BEYOND: WHITE OR GREEN CHRISTMAS?

British Columbia’s mountains and ski resorts have already had abundant snowfall thanks to multiple moisture-laden systems, but the Pacific influence has also kept temperatures mild, leading to little snow for the Interior valleys including Kelowna.

SNOWWEST
SNOWWEST

As for the South Coast, there's just about no hope: People there can expect a traditional green Christmas, including Vancouver and Victoria, with no signs of Arctic air making an appearance before the holiday.

Check back as we continue to monitor the forecast for B.C.