Big dump coming on Coq

UPDATE: 1:50 p.m.

DriveBC advises that 15-20 centimetres of snow is expected on the Coquihalla Highway during the next 12 hours.

The "Coquihalla Snowshed Protocol" will be implemented this afternoon, DriveBC adds.

That is "the go-to plan when the snow hits the fan," the Ministry of Transportation says.

It comes into effect during heavy snow or freezing rain conditions to maintain public safety.

Using specialized forecasts for the Coquihalla, highway contractor VSA Maintenance notifies the ministry, Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement, weather and avalanche forecasters, as well as flagging and traffic services, tow trucks, and RCMP so they can all share information.

The fleet is fuelled and a call-out list prepared in case more manpower is needed.

Two hours before the storm: CVSE, flagging, and traffic services are on standby. Tow trucks are stationed at the Zopkios brake check. 

As the snow begins to fall, VSA dispatches its plows, and chain-up signs are turned on.

Crews on the ground relay changing condition information to DriveBC.

If avalanche hazard and traffic volumes are high, a staging site will be set up at the Sowaqua pullout below Box Canyon. Vehicles will be held there, outside of any avalanche areas, and released as queues on the hill clear. 

ORIGINAL: 6:45 a.m.

Get your shovels out.

The Okanagan Valley woke up to snow Tuesday morning.

About two inches of the white stuff fell overnight in Vernon, and snow also fell in Kelowna.

Environment Canada is calling for more flurries, ending this morning and a mainly cloudy day.

Highs should hit about zero, with a wind chill of -8 this morning.

More snow is forecast tonight, at times heavy, with accumulations of 10-15 centimetres.

A snowfall warning has been issued for mountain highways heading to the coast, with accumulations of 20 cm on all major routes as a low pressure system tracks across Southern B.C.

The snow is expected to ease by Wednesday morning.

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