Winter tire requirements went into effect yesterday, and, today, motorists travelling north and east of the Okanagan found out why.
Calgary was blanketed with snow this morning, as were highways in B.C.’s Columbia and Kootenay regions as well. In fact, a snowfall warning and travel advisory is in effect for the Shuswap, on the Trans Canada Highway from Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass. Prolonged periods of heavy and wet snow resulted in slippery driving conditions and reduced visibility at higher elevations.
According to Environment Canada, 10 to 15 centimetres of snow is expected in the East Kootenays, with the total snowfall expected to be near 30 cm.
North of the Okanagan, Environment Canada says hazardous winter conditions are expected in the 100 Mile House and Chilcotin regions. Heavy snow is falling with 30 cm having already been reported, and that up to 15 cm of additional snow is expected today.
Just south of 100 Mile House is Begbie Summit, which has an elevation of 1,232 metres, approximately the same height as the old Coquihalla toll booth (1,244 metres).
Environment Canada also issued special weather statements for the Fraser Valley, Fraser Canyon, Nicola, South Thompson and Okanagan regions. Bursts of heavy snow are expected this afternoon and evening as a low pressure system from the coast clashes with a cold front in the interior.
Further, travellers using the Coquihalla and Okanagan Connector are advised to prepare for rapidly accumulating snow and poor visibility.