Winter storm warnings continued Thursday across much of B.C., with cold weather and heavy snow continuing to wreak havoc on coastal, northern and southern communities.
A Pacific storm has sparked warnings for the Kootenay region, bringing 30 to 40 centimetres of snow through the day and roughly 10 to 15 centimetres of snow in the Okanagan and Sea-to-Sky region, Environment Canada said in a weather bulletin.
Meanwhile, an Arctic ridge of high pressure over the B.C. Interior is anticipated to create wind chill values of -20 C or less, according to the weather agency. The frigid cold is expected to hit the Fraser Valley, the central coast and north coast.
East Vancouver Island was hit with a large dump of snow overnight, specifically Comox Valley where roughly 30 centimetres fell. Heavy snowfall and high winds are expected to continue, with wind gusts reaching 60 to 80 kilometres per hour. The storm there is expected to ease mid-day.
Snowfall warnings have been lifted across B.C.’s south coast, which was hit with heavy snowfall Wednesday. In most cities, a mix of snow and rain is expected to continue into Friday.
Environment Canada forecasters warned this weather pattern could still bring “heavy bursts of snow” through Thursday.
The Ministry of Transportation issued a warning for commuters to use extra caution when driving in the changing conditions.
Snowfall warnings have ended over southern Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver, however there is cold & unstable air behind the system. These convective cells could still give locally heavy bursts of snow today over the South Coast. #BCStorm #notdoneyet pic.twitter.com/6UHg2hpQbj
— ECCC Weather British Columbia (@ECCCWeatherBC) January 16, 2020
BC Ferries cancelled a number of its sailings due to strong winds along the coastline.
B.C.’s most northernwesterly region, including Teslin, the South Klondike Highway and the Cassiar Mountains, remains under an extreme cold weather advisory for a seventh day.
“A bitterly cold arctic ridge of high pressure will has remained entrenched over the Yukon,” the bulletin reads. “Occasional light winds will give wind chill values to -50 C.”