11:45 AM UPDATE: A snowfall warning is now in effect for East Vancouver Island, from Nanoose Bay to Campbell River.
Environment Canada says near 10 cm of snow is expected over inland regions, with up to 5 cm near the water tonight through tomorrow (Friday) morning. The snow should taper off around noon.
“Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions,” it says. “Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow.”
A white Christmas is likely for parts of Vancouver Island, with more snow and colder temperatures on the way.
Another special weather statement is in effect for East Vancouver Island, from Greater Victoria to Campbell River, as well as Inland Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and other parts of B.C.
Environment Canada says a weather system will arrive over the south coast tonight through Sunday, bringing rain mixed with snow for areas closer to the water and more snow for higher terrain.
It says cooler air from the B.C. interior will make its way to the south coast tomorrow night, but “true Arctic air” isn’t expected until later Christmas Day.
“As the air mass around the south coast cools, more widespread snow is possible,” the weather agency warns.
Temperatures will likely be well below seasonal through the end of December, and locals are urged to brace for an increased risk of frostbite and hypothermia.
“Protect yourself and wear appropriate clothing when outdoors,” Environment Canada says, adding that mountain weather could change suddenly, resulting in hazardous driving conditions.
In anticipation, Mainroad says its crews will be patrolling all service area highways and applying winter materials where appropriate until the event passes, roadways are clear and back to normal.
When heading out, the company’s asking drivers to practice caution behind the wheel, checking DriveBC.ca for road condition updates.