Avalanche risk, potential delays on Trans-Canada Highway from B.C. Interior to Alberta

Click to play video: 'High avalanche risk in B.C. mountains'
High avalanche risk in B.C. mountains
Avalanche Canada is warning the arrival of warm temperatures is making the snowpack in B.C.'s mountains highly unstable, and they're warning backcountry users to avoid hazardous terrain until conditions stabilize. Alissa Thibault reports. – Mar 15, 2024

Motorists traveling Highway 1 between Sicamous, B.C., and the Alberta border are being warned of changing avalanche conditions and potential delays.

DriveBC said a weather advisory is in effect for  291.5 kilometres of the highway, until around 6 p.m. Sunday.

There are changing avalanche conditions due to rapidly warming temperatures, according to DriveBC.

“Be prepared for short notice closures for avalanche control and deposit removal,” reads the statement.

Click to play video: 'Special avalanche alert'
Special avalanche alert

Avalanche Canada issued a warning this week, explaining that sudden and significant warming is hitting the coast on Thursday and the interior on Friday, with sunny skies and double-digit temperatures continuing over the weekend.

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“The impact of this warming is clear — a spike in avalanche danger, with large natural avalanches,” reads the warning.

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Avalanche Canada said regions with persistent slab avalanche problems can expect very large natural slab avalanches; wet loose avalanches will occur on sun-exposed slopes; cornices will break and potentially trigger avalanches on the slopes below.

“Forecasting persistent slab avalanches can be tricky, but under these conditions, it is not,” reads the Avalanche Canada statement.

“The combo of a hyper-sensitive snowpack with intense warming is a recipe for high danger.”

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