Motorists and pedestrians in the British Columbia Interior are being warned to expect a slippery Thursday, with freezing rain in the forecast.
Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning for the Bulkley Valley and the Lakes District, the Stuart-Nechako region and Prince George.
The adverse conditions are forecast to begin shaping up overnight and persist into Thursday morning, before shifting to normal rain in the afternoon.
Global BC senior meteorologist Kristi Gordon says the bout of icy weather is a product of a frontal system pushing warm air and rain into the currently frigid region.
“Because warm air is less dense (or ‘lighter’) than cold air, it can’t push the cold air out of the Interior. Instead the warm air is forced to up and over the cold, creating a bit of an inversion,” explained Gordon.
“In this scenario, the cloud forms rain in the warmer air above but then the rain has to travel through a layer of very cold air near the surface and the rain turns to ice on impact.”
Gordon said freezing rain can be the most dangerous form of precipitation, as it is incredibly difficult to see and often turns roads into deadly, slippery surfaces.
It can also pose a risk for pedestrians, and has been known to knock out power by icing up transmission lines.
Drivers who need to be on the road in freezing rain conditions should remember to keep their steering wheel straight, avoid slamming the brakes and take their foot off the accelerator in order to slow down.
You can find up-to-date B.C. weather warnings and alerts here.