Second storm heading to South Coast and Vancouver Island bringing snow and rain

·3 min read

Fresh on the heels of a winter storm Saturday, Environment Canada says a second storm is on the way, bringing snow followed by rain to most areas of Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island by Sunday evening.

Snow will continue Sunday morning but will transition into rain in the early afternoon for southern areas of Vancouver Island. Metro Vancouver will see late morning snow shift to rain in the early evening Sunday.

"Snowfall amounts will vary due to the timing of the transition and additional alerts may be issued once snowfall amounts become more certain," according to Environment Canada.

Heavy snowfall made road conditions treacherous across B.C.'s South Coast after up to 20 centimetres fell in some areas Saturday morning.

Shane MacKichan
Shane MacKichan

Environment Canada has ended winter weather warnings for Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

The snowfall lasted throughout Saturday morning leading to reduced visibility and deteriorating travel conditions. There were several vehicle collisions on Highway 1 in the Fraser Valley and transit buses in Vancouver blocked traffic when they got stuck on snowy hills.

Close to 25 centimetres of snow accumulated on the Malahat Highway on Vancouver Island in the last 24 hours and DriveBC has issued a travel advisory for the highway in both directions.

Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC News
Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC News

Daily snowfall records

In Victoria, a daily snowfall record was broken with 12 centimetres recorded at the Victoria Airport making it the snowiest Feb. 13 on record.

"For Greater Victoria, we're looking at 10 to 15 centimetres of snow and also with a strong easterly wind those strong winds, could give [...] poor visibility snow and blowing snow," said Environment Canada meteorologist Louis Kohanyi.

The Victoria Police Department is asking that all nonessential travel be avoided as the snow has made many major roads impassable.

Officers have responded to several vehicle collisions. No major injuries have yet been reported.

Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC News
Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC News

Bus routes cancelled

B.C. Transit has suspended service on all routes in the Cowichan Valley. Due to severe road conditions, only the following routes are being serviced Saturday: 4, 6, 14, 15, 50, 61, 70 and 72.

The City of Victoria is asking people to park their cars free of charge at one of five parkades so that crews can clear downtown streets.

The weather agency says the snowfall is the result of an approaching frontal system colliding with the arctic front along Vancouver Island. The heavy and blowing snow is expected to end this afternoon.

Winter storm warnings are issued when 25 centimetres of snowfall is forecast within 24 hours.

"We issued a winter storm warning for Vancouver Island because they were expecting significant snowfall amounts and also we do have those strong northeasterly [winds] creating blowing snow and reducing visibility," Kohanyi explained.

Elisabeth Lesperance
Elisabeth Lesperance

Snowfall warnings have ended for all of Metro Vancouver from the North Shore to Langley as well as for Abbotsford. The region saw snow accumulation between 5 to 10 centimetres.

TransLink has posted a service advisory because of the poor road conditions and warns transit users to "plan ahead, bundle up, and allow for extra commuting time."

White Rock RCMP/Twitter
White Rock RCMP/Twitter

Environment Canada warns that highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to the accumulating snow.

In White Rock, RCMP warn that the snow has made hills slippery and that officers are helping the municipality set up barricades to block off certain roads.

James Roberts/CBC News
James Roberts/CBC News