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Snowfall warnings continue for Coquihalla, Highway 3

Weather and road conditions at the summit of the Coquihalla Highway on Saturday morning. DriveBC

Snowfall warnings issued on Friday remain in effect for some mountain passes in B.C.’s Southern Interior on Saturday.

Environment Canada is projecting 10 to 20 cm for the Coquihalla Highway, from Hope to Merritt, and two sections of Highway 3, from Hope to Princeton plus Grand Forks to Creston.

“A frontal system crossing southern B.C. is bringing heavy snow to parts of the region,” said the national weather agency.

Click to play video: 'Global Okanagan Weather: December 1, 2023'
Global Okanagan Weather: December 1, 2023

The snow is expected to taper off as the frontal system weakens.

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According to DriveBC, the summit of the Coquihalla, where the elevation is 1,230 metres, received 19 cm in the past 12 hours. The temperature, as of 9 a.m. Dec. 2 at the summit was -1.9 C.

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Throughout the Okanagan, snow fell overnight in the valley bottom, the region’s first snowfall of the season.

In Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton, more snow is in the forecast, with 2-4 cm projected, along with periods of light snow on Sunday.

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However, snow at lower elevations isn’t expected to stick around for long, with temperatures expected to reach a high of 0 C on Saturday and 3 C on Sunday. Monday will see a high of 1 C and periods of rain.

Click to play video: 'B.C. evening weather forecast: Dec. 1'
B.C. evening weather forecast: Dec. 1

The change in conditions prompted B.C. Highway Patrol to issue a safety reminder to motorists.

“Sometimes people forget that the weather changes quickly, and drastically, in mountain regions,” said Const. James Ward.

“You have to adjust. Braking distances get a lot longer, you have to slow down for cornering. And keep an eye out for pedestrians because now that it gets darker earlier, it’s harder to see people, especially when there’s light glaring off wet roads.

“We’re asking everybody to take their time and slow down.”

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