Winter driving, no date. Photo credit: ICBC

Heavy snow, rain expected over southern B.C. highway summits tonight

Visibility issues and difficult driving likely on Coquihalla and Allison Pass Sunday through Monday

A winter storm watch is in effect Sunday for both the Coquihalla and parts of Highway 3.

Environment Canada issued the alert this morning, for Hope to Merritt and Hope to Princeton via Allison Pass.

They are calling for snow changing to heavy rain with potential for heavy snow at the mountain summits. Some of that snow accumulation could be rapid, and drivers are being warned to be prepared for difficult travel and reduced visibility.

“A frontal system laden with subtropical moisture will move across southern B.C. today through Monday morning bringing a messy mix of rain on top of snow today and the possibility of heavy wet snow at the summit tonight into Monday morning,” the weather alert states.

“The initial warm front will raise snow levels today (Sunday) with snow still falling on the upper elevations of the Coquihalla Highway – Hope to Merritt and Highway 3 via Allison Pass.

“By tonight, the warm air mass will be over southern B.C. with snow levels near or slightly above the Coquihalla Summit and Allison Pass. Rain will fall over most of the highway with wet snow or rain mixed with snow near at summit.”

As the cold front approaches tonight, precipitation rates will intensify and thus there is potential for snow levels to drop just below the summit or pass levels.

They are calling for total snow accumulations near 25 cm near the summit level by Monday morning.

Fraser Canyon

For those planning to travel via the Fraser Canyon, there is also a wind warning in effect in that region, including Lytton.

Strong winds that may cause damage are expected or occurring, Environment Canada reported Sunday morning.

“An intense Pacific frontal system moving across the Interior will give strong winds to the southern sections of Fraser Canyon. Southerly winds 40 km/h gusting to 60 this morning will increase to 70 km/h gusting to 90 this afternoon. The winds are expected to ease overnight as the front moves eastward.”

Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage. Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions due to high winds.

Road conditions are available at www.drivebc.ca.


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