Winter storm warnings

UPDATE 7:03 a.m.

Winter storm or snowfall warnings are in effect in many parts of British Columbia's southern Interior, making travel through the region challenging.

Environment Canada has posted winter storm warnings for the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt and for Highway 3 from the Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass.

The weather office says as much as 35 centimetres of snow could blanket higher elevations of Highway 3, while 20 centimetres is expected along the Coquihalla.

Total accumulations on that highway are forecast to reach 40 to 50 centimetres before the storm eases Wednesday.

Elsewhere, snowfall warnings are issued for mountain passes including Allison Pass on Highway 3, as well as Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass on Highway 1, with 25 centimetres expected by the end of the day.

On the south coast, heavy rain continues and rainfall warnings remain in effect for Howe Sound and the Fraser Valley as Environment Canada calls for total amounts of about 50 millimetres in those areas.

-with files from Canadian Press

ORIGINAL 5:24 a.m.

While things remain snow-free in the Okanagan Valley, it is a very different situation in the mountain passes.

Environment Canada has added a winter storm warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway - Hope to Merritt with significant amounts of snow expected.

The warning was added to several others which had been issued earlier on Monday for the Boundary region right through to the Kootenays.

A very moist Pacific frontal system will move inland tonight. In its wake, a strong southwest flow will send waves of moisture across the Coast Mountains over the next 36 hours.

The Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt will see periods of heavy snow Monday night with amounts near 15 cm within a few hundred metres of the summit.

The snow is expected to ease early Tuesday morning but will reintensify near midday as the next wave approaches. Additional snowfall amounts of 15-20 cm are forecast by late afternoon.

Snow at times heavy will continue Tuesday night and further amounts are likely to exceed 15 cm bringing total storm accumulations into the 40 to 50 cm range before snow eases off on Wednesday.

Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult. Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions.

Weather in the mountains can change suddenly resulting in hazardous driving conditions.

You are advised to avoid unnecessary travel and to check DriveBC and Castanet for the latest conditions.


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