Heavy snow warning issued for Coquihalla, Highway 3

Heavy snow warning

UPDATE: 11:24 a.m.

There's a reason you need to keep your winter tires on until the end of April.

The Coquihalla and connector are expected to get up to 25 centimetres of snow by Saturday evening, says Environment Canada.

According to meteorologist Bobby Sekhon, it's not uncommon to get a late season snow event like this, especially in higher elevation areas like the Coquihalla.

“It’s a cooler air mass that we’ve been dealing with all month. It’s this northwesterly flow that’s bringing in this system from the Gulf of Alaska, down the coast and in through the southwest Interior," he continued.

"We can expect to see those kind of systems bringing snowfall to higher elevations."

Things on the Interior side of things don't seem to be as concerning to Environment Canada, but Sehkon says he wouldn't be surprised if Big White got some snow too.

"You can’t rule out a couple centimetres of snow for Big White as well, so it’s important to check the road conditions before heading up.”

ORIGINAL: 6:47 a.m.

Heavy, late-season snowfall is expected on Southern Interior mountain highways today through Saturday night.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt, and Highway 3, Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass.

Accumulations of up to 25 centimetres are forecast.

"A robust frontal system sliding down the coast tonight will begin to spread light to moderate snow to the Coquihalla Highway starting this morning," the forecaster says.

"Freezing levels are expected to remain below summit level this afternoon. Snowfall rates will intensify this evening and persist through Saturday."

Significant snow isn't expected to accumulate until later this evening, before easing Saturday night.

On Highway 3, the onset of snow is delayed until this afternoon and will increase in intensity by Saturday morning. The heavy snow will persist through Saturday evening.

Weather in the mountains can change suddenly, resulting in hazardous driving conditions, Environment Canada warns.

More BC News