Thousands were left without power on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland Monday as a result of the wintry blast, and some roads were closed. The good news is conditions will finally start to improve, with snow and rain easing off in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island in the overnight hours. Snow will hang on in the Interior and mountain passes into Tuesday morning before tapering off. More on what's left of the intense system and the game changer for a White Christmas, below.
Rain, snow tapers off in Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland Monday night
Snow subsides in the Interior, mountain passes Tuesday morning
Thousands without power from the snow, travel impacted
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!
TUESDAY: SNOW EASES OFF IN THE INTERIOR, ALPINE REGIONS
Heavy rains and lower-elevation wet snow to the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island will ease off Monday overnight, but will continue into Tuesday morning for the Interior and mountain passes before it finally subsides.
As a result of the storm, about 70,000 customers were still without power on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland as of Monday night,according to BC Hydro. The company says all available crews are busy repairing damaged equipment and working to restore power.
In addition to the outages, roadways have been affected by the slippery conditions. Multile roads were closed and then reopened Monday, but some remain shut down. The current closures can be found here.
Some of the mountain passes may see additional snowfall amounts of 10-20 cm by the time it eases off Tuesday morning.
"Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions," warns Environment Canada in the winter storm and snowfall warnings for the mountain passes. "Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations."
B.C. STORM WAS HARD TO ESCAPE; SNOW, HEAVY RAIN AND TOUGH DRIVING CONDITIONS THE STORY FOR MOST
As well, the system is bringing blustery winds. Strong northwesterly wind gusts of 70-80 km/h over exposed coastal sections of southwestern Metro Vancouver, southern Gulf Islands and southern portions of eastern Vancouver Island will ease off Tuesday morning.
Th avalanche risk, while lower than on Monday, remains elevated Tuesday, especially along the vulnerable slopes of the South Coast.
WHITE CHRISTMAS? THIS STORM IS A GAME CHANGER
This moisture-laden Pacific low will add to an already hefty base of snow in the B.C. mountains, helping to lock in a white Christmas for the higher elevations. A white versus green holiday for places like Kelowna will still depend on both how much snow falls with this early week system, and how much snow will hold on through the week.
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Despite some possible flakes through Metro Vancouver and Victoria as this system treks through, a milder finish to the week will likely keep Christmas green for areas near sea level.
"We'll see conditions becoming unsettled again for Christmas and Boxing Day, with some rain expected for coastal areas and alpine snow for the ski areas," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham, adding that unsettled weather will persist through the weekend and into early next week as well.
Thumbnail courtesy of Jaclyn Whittal.
Check back as we continue to monitor the forecast for B.C.