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Coquihalla Highway could see 50 cm of snow before Wednesday

A grader plowing snow on the Coquihalla highway in central B.C. on November 14, 2018.
A grader plowing snow on the Coquihalla highway in central B.C. on November 14, 2018. Courtesy: Ministry of Transportation

A winter storm warning was issued for the Coquihalla Highway on Monday night with upwards of 50 cm of snow expected before the storm passes on Wednesday.

Snow has already begun to fall on Highway 5 between Hope and Merritt and 15 cm is forecast to fall until Tuesday morning, according to Environment Canada.

READ MORE: BC rolls out new Coquihalla highway ‘No Trucks in Left Lane’ program

“The snow is expected ease early Tuesday morning but will reintensify near midday as the next wave approaches,” the warning on the Environment Canada website said. “Additional snowfall amounts of 15-20 cm are forecast by late afternoon.”

Snow will continue into Wednesday morning.

Drivers are being warned to prepare for heavy snowfall on the Coquihalla until Wednesday, Dec. 19.
Drivers are being warned to prepare for heavy snowfall on the Coquihalla until Wednesday, Dec. 19. Drivebc.ca/ Global Okanagan

Travelers on the Coquihalla should be prepared for rapidly accumulating snow which will make travel difficult, it said.

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“Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions,” the warning continued. “Weather in the mountains can change suddenly, resulting in hazardous driving conditions.”

The Coquihalla Highway shut down numerous times last winter, many times resulting in stranded drivers and serious accidents.

READ MORE: Driving the Coquihalla in snow is bad enough. But check out the speed limit

A winter storm warning is also in effect for the Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass on Highway 3 into Tuesday afternoon.

Snowfall of up to 35 cm could accumulate on the Kootenay highway route.

 

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