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Lower Mainland commuters warned of rain, snow mix as warning issued

Click to play video: 'Snowfall warning in effect for large parts of coastal B.C.'
Snowfall warning in effect for large parts of coastal B.C.
A string of snowfall warnings are in effect across a large part of coastal B.C., including Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Grace Ke reports. – Feb 27, 2024

A snowfall warning was issued for parts of the Lower Mainland Tuesday, with commuters being told to prepare for poor road conditions.

Environment Canada has estimated that five to eight centimetres of snow will fall on sections of Metro Vancouver, including West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Coquitlam and Maple Ridge from late Tuesday afternoon to near midnight. The Fraser Valley, including Hope, is also under a snowfall warning with up to 10 centimetres of snow expected.

Click to play video: 'Rainfall, winter storm warnings issued for parts of B.C.'
Rainfall, winter storm warnings issued for parts of B.C.

“Snowfall accumulations are expected to vary greatly with elevation and proximity to the water. Precipitation rate will also determine how quickly it’ll transition to snow and cool the ground,” Environment Canada said in a statement.

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“Snow levels will be hovering near sea level, and precipitation will start as rain mixed with snow late (Tuesday) afternoon. Snowfall accumulations are expected to vary greatly with elevation and proximity to the water.”

It’s expected that snow will initially melt as the ground is still warm but the likelihood of accumulation increases as the evening progresses.

Meteorologist Kristi Gordon said it depends on the elevation when it comes to snow accumulation.

Areas below 100 metres will see rain or wet snow with little accumulation.

Areas above 100 metres will see wet snow with about one to four centimetres possible and higher elevations, above 300 metres, will receive snow or wet snow with five to eight centimetres of accumulation possible.

There is also the risk of freezing rain for the Fraser Valley.

Click to play video: 'Road crews prepare as snowfall warning issued for Metro Vancouver'
Road crews prepare as snowfall warning issued for Metro Vancouver

On Vancouver Island, Gordon said snow is expected to fall away from the water and at elevations higher than 200 metres.

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Most areas near the water will have rain or a mix of rain/snow with minimal to no accumulations, Gordon added.

Snow accumulations are possible in Campbell River, Comox, Malahat and Highway 4/Port Alberni.

Click to play video: 'Record number of ‘zombie fires’ burning in B.C.'
Record number of ‘zombie fires’ burning in B.C.

Starting Wednesday morning, the snow is expected to change to rain, according to Environment Canada and finally ease to a few showers by Wednesday evening.

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The rain is expected to be heavy with total amounts between 20 and 40 millimetres, depending on the region.

B.C.’s Transportation Ministry said the mix of rain and snow could affect the Tuesday afternoon commute in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

It said drivers should ensure vehicles are properly equipped for the conditions, including having winter or snow-rated tires.

The ministry said maintenance contractors will be applying brine and abrasives while clearing the snow.

A snowfall warning was also issued for B.C.’s Northern Coast and Inland sections, with up to 25 centimetres coming for Stewart, while Kitimat and Terrace will see 15 to 20 centimetres of snow through to Wednesday morning.

Click to play video: '10-15 cm of snow forecast for parts of B.C.’s Southern Interior'
10-15 cm of snow forecast for parts of B.C.’s Southern Interior

— with files by The Canadian Press  first published Feb. 26, 2024

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