Snow set to turn to heavy rain on Coquihalla

Heavy snow, rain on Coq

A snowfall warning continues for the Coquihalla Highway and other B.C. Interior routes Sunday, but heavy rain is expected into next week.

After about five centimetres fell overnight, Environment Canada is forecasting another 15 cm of wet snow between Merritt and Hope on the Coquihalla through Sunday, as a Pacific frontal system moves into the province. The highest accumulations will likely be at the Coquihalla Summit.

The snow level will range between 500 metres and 1,200 metres elevation throughout the day, with slippery conditions at lower elevations, where rain is expected to fall on top of snow. The Coquihalla Summit is at 1,210 metres elevation.

Five cm of snow and heavy winds are also forecasted for the Okanagan Connector.

Snow is also currently falling in downtown Kelowna.

Drivers are being warned of rapid accumulations in some areas, with reduced visibility due to heavy snow. A snowfall warning is also in effect for the Trans-Canada Highway between Eagle Pass and Rogers Pass. The snow in that area is forecast to ease off overnight.

Environment Canada is also warning of heavy rainfall on the Coquihalla Highway starting Monday evening and continuing into Tuesday.

"An atmospheric river is setting up over the B.C. South Coast on Monday," Environment Canada says.

"Light snow mixed with rain will begin late Monday morning, then gradually intensify to heavy rain Monday evening and continue through Tuesday morning."

Between 30 and 60 mm of rain is forecast to fall on the Coquihalla, "which will increase the risk of flooding and landslides" Environment Canada says.

The forecast notes this event is expected to be much weaker than the devastating atmospheric river of November 2021.

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