Hazardous travel with 30+ cm of snow through the B.C. Interior into Alberta
Snowfall and winter storm warnings remain in effect across parts of northern British Columbia and central Alberta, with treacherous travel conditions expected amid periods of heavy snow into Thursday.
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"A boundary between two lows, Aleutian and Hudson Bay low, will bring heavy and prolonged snow to parts of the region," says Matt Grinter, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
The moisture is being drawn in from the Pacific and is forecast to be one of the largest snowfalls so far this year for places like Prince George, B.C., where a winter storm warning is in effect. Totals may reach or exceed 30 cm by the time all is said and done.
As of early Wednesday, Williams Lake, B.C. had already picked up over 15 cm of snow, with another 5-10 cm expected to fall through Wednesday.
"Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve," says Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) in the warning. "Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. If visibility is reduced while driving, turn on your lights and maintain a safe following distance."
In northwestern Alberta, the heaviest snow will fall in Grande Prairie and impact Highways 40 and 43, as well as some parts of Highway 16 west of Edmonton. Drivers there are being urged to adjust travel plans, as well.
By the early morning hours on Wednesday, close to 10 cm of snow was reported in Grande Prairie, with a couple of centimetres reported at the Edmonton airport.
The heaviest snowfall in Alberta will occur through the day on Wednesday, continuing Wednesday overnight before tapering off on Thursday.
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Travel will continue to be impacted along Highways 40 43, as well as some parts of Highway 16 west of Edmonton.
A reinforcing blast of frigid, Arctic air will take hold for the central and eastern Prairies later this week, but much milder weather will spread across Alberta on Thursday and temperatures will quickly recover across the eastern Prairies as well.
Be sure to check back for the latest weather updates across western Canada.