Wintry weather on tap for lower elevations in British Columbia

·4 min read
Wintry weather on tap for lower elevations in British Columbia
Wintry weather on tap for lower elevations in British Columbia

Falling freezing levels will bring snow to lower elevations across southern British Columbia this weekend as two separate systems target the region. The first system arriving Saturday morning could bring a few wet snowflakes into Metro Vancouver, though any accumulations will be limited to higher elevations. Another storm arriving Sunday night into Monday will bring a heftier opportunity for accumulating snow to the Lower Mainland. More on the timing and impacts, below.

Visit our Complete Guide to Winter 2022 for an in-depth look at the Winter Forecast, tips to plan for it, and much more!

SATURDAY: VERY LOW FREEZING LEVELS BRING SNOW CLOSE TO THE COAST

The impending wintry weather is a far cry from the parade of atmospheric rivers that plagued B.C. last weekend. Three separate atmospheric river events brought flooding rains and an extreme avalanche danger to the southern portion of the province, the latter as a result of freezing levels that soared above 2,000 metres.

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BCFreezingLevel
BCFreezingLevel

We’re staring down a very different situation this weekend. A colder airmass descending over Western Canada forced those freezing levels to plunge, allowing B.C.’s next two systems to bring the opportunity for snow fairly close to sea level. The freezing level over the next few days will hover between 200 and 300 metres.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) issued a special weather statement for Metro Vancouver and surrounding areas alerting residents of the light snow potential on Saturday morning.

While it’s unlikely that the lowest elevations will see accumulating snow, higher elevations around Vancouver could see a few short-lived centimetres of snow before the precipitation ends and temperatures rise.

BCPass
BCPass

Farther inland, parts of the Interior could see 5-15 cm of snow on Saturday. The accumulations could slow down travel in some of the mountain passes.

The snow comes to an end for the coasts through the morning, and in the afternoon and evening for the Interior.

SUNDAY AND BEYOND: SECOND DOSE OF SNOW TO START NEXT WEEK

A better opportunity for accumulating snow arrives for lower elevations across the Lower Mainland with the next system moving into the region on Sunday night.

This second system will have more moisture and a little more cold air to work with, allowing for widespread accumulating snow for inland areas and bringing the potential for accumulations closer to the coast.

BCSnowSun
BCSnowSun

Parts of Metro Vancouver could see a dusting to a couple of centimetres of snow on Sunday night into Monday morning, depending on elevation and proximity to the coast. Inland areas will see higher totals, with 5-10 cm for many areas and higher totals at higher elevations.

The next chance for active weather in southern B.C. will arrive mid-week, bringing the region another chance for snow. Regardless of the snowfall potential, below-seasonal temperatures are likely across the region through the week.

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Check back as we monitor the forecast across British Columbia.

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