Blast of rain and snow to hit southwest B.C. on Friday

25 cm forecast for highways

Heavy rain and snow is on its way to soggy southwest B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement impacting Highways 3, 5 and 99 in addition to the Lower Mainland and Howe Sound.

Rainfall totals on Friday and Saturday are expected to be between 40 and 80 mm. On the mountain passes — Whistler, Coquihalla Summit and Allison Pass — 15 to 25 cm of snowfall is forecast.

Wind speeds will hit 60 km/h, gusting to 80 km/h.

A moist Pacific frontal system will arrive over the BC south coast Friday morning.

“The front will produce rainfall amounts of 40 to 60 mm for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Rainfall amounts of 80 mm or higher are possible near the North Shore Mountains and Howe Sound,” Environment Canada says.

“Freezing levels will range between 500 and 1,000 metres with this system. Whistler and the high elevation mountain passes, particularly Highways 3, 5, and the Sea to Sky, can expect heavy snow.”

“Strong southeast winds will accompany the front. The strongest winds are expected for areas along the Strait of Georgia overnight Friday into early Saturday morning,” Environment Canada concluded.

Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton and Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet have essential-only travel restrictions while the Coquihalla is closed. B.C.’s highway network is in a fragile state since catastrophic flooding last month.

The long-range forecast suggests the system will bring minimal snowfall to the Okanagan Valley on Sunday and Monday.

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