Snowfall, extreme cold warnings blanket much of B.C.

Up to 30 centimetres of snow is forecast for parts of B.C. over the weekend. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
Up to 30 centimetres of snow is forecast for parts of B.C. over the weekend. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

Heavy snow is expected across much of British Columbia this weekend, with up to 30 centimetres projected for parts of the province, according to Environment Canada.

Across northern and central B.C., snow is forecast to fall Friday night through Saturday, with accumulations ranging from 10 to 30 centimetres.

A winter storm warning has been issued for Prince George and Stuart-Nechako, where starting Friday, hazardous winter conditions, including heavy snow and reduced visibility forecast to last into Sunday.

In the southern Interior, including parts of the Okanagan Valley and Thompson, Shuswap, Columbia and Kinbasket regions, the weather agency says heavy snow is expected between Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening.

Special weather statements have also been added for Metro Vancouver, Howe Sound and the Sea-to-Sky region, the Sunshine Coast and the Fraser Valley, where snowfall could range from 10 centimetres to 30 at higher elevations.

Snow in those areas is expected to intensify Saturday night before easing Sunday, and the system should move on by Monday, according to Environment Canada.

Rain may accompany snow in coastal areas near the water, according to CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe.

Statements are also in effect for all of Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands, where snowfall amounts are expected to range from five to 15 centimetres. A warning from Environment Canada may be issued as the event draws closer.

Environment Canada also reports a handful of record low temperatures for the day were set Thursday in the southern Interior and central and south coasts.

Clinton, northwest of Kamloops, slipped to -25 C to break a 30-year-old mark by one degree, while Bella Bella, Powell River, Sechelt and Squamish also set daily records.

The weather agency is warning of difficult travel conditions throughout the weekend.

For up-to-date travel information, drivers can check

Extreme cold in central, northern B.C.

Extreme cold warnings issued earlier this week remain in effect for the Chilcotin, Peace River and Elk Valley regions, where the windchill could make it feel like -40 C at times.

Arctic outflow warnings have been issued for the north and central coast, as well as Whistler.

Andrew Kurjata/CBC
Andrew Kurjata/CBC

Environment Canada is reminding residents to dress warmly, in layers, and says the outer layer should be wind resistant.

Frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with wind chill.

WorkSafeBC advises employers and workers in central and northern B.C. that extra precautions need to be taken when working outdoors in freezing temperatures.

It suggests revisiting risk assessments regularly to deal with changing conditions.

YVR preparing

The Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is preparing for the anticipated weather after operations were all but shut down in December during several days of snow and icy temperatures.

Ben Nelms/CBC
Ben Nelms/CBC

"We are monitoring weather closely and working with airlines and our many partners to ensure passengers and planes get on their way as quickly and safely as possible," an airport spokesperson said in a statement.

YVR says its de-icing operation is ready, and airlines have been asked to ensure towing capacity so empty aircraft aren't left sitting at gates.

Passengers are being encouraged to check the status of their flight on their airline's website or the airport's website prior to arrival.