PHOTOS: Heavy snow, power outages mark the first day of winter in B.C.

Digital Writers
·4 min read
PHOTOS: Heavy snow, power outages mark the first day of winter in B.C.
PHOTOS: Heavy snow, power outages mark the first day of winter in B.C.
PHOTOS: Heavy snow, power outages mark the first day of winter in B.C.

A potent Pacific low brought strong winds, heavy rain, and wet snow to parts of B.C. on Monday to kick off the first official day of the winter season.

At one point Monday afternoon, Environment Canada had issued a snowfall warning for Vancouver, for up to 5 cm possible over higher terrain. Meanwhile, widespread winter storm warnings covered parts of the southern Interior, as snowfall totals ranged from 20-40+ cm through Tuesday morning. Even heavier snowfall amounts were reported in the Kootenays and mountain ranges.

BCSnowTotals
BCSnowTotals

The heavy, and quickly falling snow made road conditions difficult and hazardous at times and motorists were advised to use extra caution while driving.

On Monday afternoon, DriveBC had issued several travel advisories for most major highway passes, including the Coquihalla, which was closed in both directions at one point.

At the height of the storm on Monday, around 70,000 customers were without power across the province, according to BC Hydro. This included outages in Duncan, Victoria and Nanaimo. That's as powerful wind gusts between 70-90 km/h also added to the unsettled conditions and impacted exposed coastal sections of southwestern Metro Vancouver, southern Gulf Islands, and southern portions of east Vancouver Island.

According to BC Hydro, crews were able to make "significant progress repairing damage caused by heavy, wet snowfall" earlier on Monday, but due to the extent of the damage and challenging weather conditions, some customers were still left in the dark through the overnight hours. More than 44,000 homes remained without power Tuesday morning.

The high winds also resulted in the cancellation of ferry sailings across the Georgia Strait.

Embedded content: https://twitter.com/bchydro/status/1341267487686455298/photo/1

This moisture-laden Pacific low helped to add to an already hefty base of snow in the B.C. mountains, locking in a White Christmas for the higher elevations. But despite some flakes through Metro Vancouver and Victoria, a milder finish to the week will likely keep Christmas green for areas near sea level.

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PHOTOS: See below for how the first day of winter shaped up in British Columbia:

Embedded content: https://twitter.com/ray_oak/status/1341105907770408960?s=20

Thumbnail credit: B.C. Hydro.