Snowfall, avalanche warnings issued for southwest B.C.

Snowfall and avalanche warnings have been issued for southwestern B.C. 

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for parts of the Lower Mainland, forecasting 5-10 centimetres of snow for Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and the Sunshine Coast on Friday.

It also said that the eastern side of Vancouver Island would get a "quick burst" of 5 centimetres of snow over higher terrain and inland sections.

The snow is expected to start falling in Friday morning but should slow down by the afternoon. It could be mixed with rain.

The weather service advises that travel may be difficult in some areas and visibility could be low.

CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe says conditions should improve over the weekend and into next week but temperatures will remain below seasonal averages by about 3-4 C.

Avalanche Canada also issued a special public avalanche warning Thursday for the backcountry on the South Coast and Vancouver Island. The warning is in effect from now until the end of Sunday.

In a statement, it said certain layers of the snowpack in those areas is weak and the snowfall Friday could lead to "deadly" avalanches.

"Human-triggered avalanches will be likely over the weekend, especially on steeper terrain," said James Floyer with Avalanche Canada. "The clearing skies and fresh snow will be very inviting, but we are urging backcountry users to be extra cautious during this period."

A 39-year-old Surrey man was killed in an avalanche on the North Shore earlier this week — a tragedy the organization referenced as it issued its warning.