January 12, 2018 11:30 pm

Why parts of the Fraser Valley were pounded with freezing rain this week

Global BC senior meteorologist Kristi Gordon with an explainer on why Fraser Valley residents shivered under freezing rain.


Standing in the rain didn’t exactly make for a pleasant time in the Fraser Valley this week.

And on Friday, Global BC senior meteorologist Kristi Gordon had a scientific explanation for why that happened.

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The Fraser Valley was walloped by winter conditions that included freezing rain, which helped to create treacherous conditions on the road — there were vehicles in the ditch and two trucks jackknifed on Highway 3 near Manning Park.

One of the reasons why some parts received rain, and others had freezing rain and snow, is that the so-called “boundary layer” between cold air coming in from the Interior and warmer air from the coast settled right in the valley.

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As cold air is dense, it stays low to the ground, and when warm air moved into the area, it was forced up over the cold, Gordon said.

READ MORE: Sorry Fraser Valley, the winter wallop isn’t done with you yet

Areas to the west wound up seeing rain because the air above it was all warm.

But the further you went east into the central Fraser Valley, the colder it became — and that’s where freezing rain happened, falling from warm air up above and then hitting the ground through a patch of cold air, making it freeze.

The boundary layer moved close to Abbotsford on Friday morning but it shifted east during the day.

There were reports of rain in the central Fraser Valley on Friday night, but there was still a risk of freezing rain in central and eastern parts into the late evening.

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