Snowfall, wind warnings as Arctic air set to bring freezing temperatures to B.C. Interior, coast

Environment Canada says temperatures are expected to dip down to -20 C in Prince George, B.C., before gradually warming up again for the weekend  (Andrew Kurjata/CBC - image credit)
Environment Canada says temperatures are expected to dip down to -20 C in Prince George, B.C., before gradually warming up again for the weekend (Andrew Kurjata/CBC - image credit)

A snowfall warning was issued across many parts of western and southern B.C. on Monday as meteorologists say strong winds blowing Arctic air are expected to continue throughout the week.

Environment Canada on Monday said snowfall warnings are in effect for parts of the southern Interior and South Coast, while the north and central coasts are under Arctic outflow and wind warnings, due to a low-pressure system southwest of Vancouver Island.

Meteorologist Alyssa Charbonneau said areas under the snowfall warning should expect 10-15 centimetres

"The temperature will be below normal for most of the regions across British Columbia," she added.

She said snow is expected to ease Monday afternoon with the cold weather tapering off by Wednesday, before another system brings back cold air next week.

"In the Interior, we're looking at temperatures of around -5 C overnight and a low of around -12 C," she said.

Winston Szeto/CBC
Winston Szeto/CBC

Kamloops and the central Okanagan, which were blanketed by snow Sunday, was bracing for as much as another 15 centimetres Monday, and the weather office issued snowfall warnings of up to 30 centimetres of snow for most Interior mountain passes.

Travel advisory

A travel advisory was also issued Monday for the Coquihalla Highway between Merritt and Kamloops, due to limited visibility with heavy snowfall and blowing snow.

"More intense precipitation will likely generate bands of snow and it may down come down quite heavy," meteorologist Derek Lee said on CBC's On The Island.

Canada post service

Canada Post issued a red service alert for Kamloops Monday afternoon, suspending deliveries for the day as "weather conditions from the inclement weather and snow have made it unsafe."

A yellow service alert was issued for the Okanagan-Similkameen region due to weather, which means Canada Post agents will "do [its] best to deliver, but there may be delays."

"Delivery will resume once conditions improve and it's safe to do so. The safety of our employees is our number one priority," it said in a statement.

Snowfall warnings are also in effect for Highway 97, between Maze Lake Road and Williams Lake because of weather.

"In Prince George, we're looking at highs around -14 C and ultimately getting down to -20 C and then gradual warming towards the weekend," Charbonneau said.

Catherine Hansen/CBC
Catherine Hansen/CBC

Environment Canada's snowfall warning for the Malahat Highway on Vancouver Island says conditions there aren't likely to ease until early Tuesday as 10 centimetres of snow is expected near the summit.

Strong winds for the coast

Meanwhile, strong winds are buffeting parts of coastal B.C., with gusts of up to 110 km/h along the north and central coasts pushing wind chill factors to -20 C and lower around the North Coast.

"We are going to see some pretty good outflow winds out of Howe Sound and strong outflow winds on the north and central coast," said Charbonneau.

Repair crews have been making progress restoring electricity to the hundreds of thousands of British Columbia homes that were blacked out during powerful weekend storms. Around noon Monday, more than 1,600 residents were still without power.