British Columbians living on the South Coast awoke Saturday morning to a healthy blanket of snow, and meteorologists say there’s more to come.
By 4 p.m., nine cm had fallen at the Vancouver International Airport, while 10 had fallen in parts of Surrey.
Victoria saw 14 cm, while 19 fell in Nanaimo and the Malahat was walloped with 31 cm.
Environment Canada issued new weather alerts Saturday afternoon, warning of a second storm starting Sunday and lasting into Monday.
Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island were forecast to get snow Sunday morning shifting into rain Sunday afternoon or evening.
Snow could turn into freezing rain Sunday evening in the western Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford.
For the Chilliwack area, light snow Sunday morning is forecast to intensify Sunday evening and Monday morning, before shifting to rain by Tuesday. Snow accumulation of up to 20 cm is possible.
The Eastern Fraser Valley and Hope are forecast to see the storm form up around midnight Sunday, continuing through to Tuesday with snowfall of between 15 and 25 cm.
TransLink said most bus routes were “operating relatively normally with some bus detours around high traffic areas,” and that SkyTrain and SeaBus service were unaffected by the snow.
The Canada Line service was briefly suspended between Bridgeport and Vancouver International Airport.
Passengers are advised to check TransLink’s Twitter feed for real-time updates.
The agency said some of its online services, like its transit alert page, were unavailable as it continued to recover from a ransomware attack in November.
The City of Vancouver said that plows had been deployed to priority routes, with a focus on bus routes, bridges and arterials.
Police across the region are reminding anyone on the roads that they must have snow tires, and to slow down and be cautious while driving.
The city of Vancouver also opened additional warming shelters through next Tuesday due to plunging temperatures.
Residents are reminded that they are required to clear the sidewalks outside their homes by 10 a.m. after a snowfall.
In Victoria, BC Transit initially suspended all bus service as heavy snow arrived in the region, but has since resumed bus transport on limited routes.
Police in Victoria and Saanich also urged residents to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.
BCAA fleet operations manager Al Lam said anyone driving should ensure they have the skills and equipment necessary for the conditions.
“The first question is, ‘is this trip necessary?'” he said.
“We’re still adhering to the provincial health orders, so is this one of these trips that’s essential for us. And if it is, do we have everything prepared for ourselves in our vehicle and ourselves mentally.”
Motorists should have a kit in their vehicle including warm clothes, a blanket, gloves, food, a flashlight and batteries, a COVID-19 kit, flares, roadside cones, a shovel and winter-grade washer fluid, he said.