CHILLIWACK (NEWS 1130) – There was snow in the Fraser Valley, including Chilliwack, on Thursday evening but the snowfall warning from Environment Canada didn’t last long.
The warning was issued early in the evening but was lifted around 8:00 PM.
Environment Canada meteorologist Andre Besson says the warning was warranted, but the threshold for issuing a warning here is lower than for other parts of Canada.
“Depending on the location we issue snowfall warnings based on different thresholds. Here on the south coast, for the central and eastern part of the Fraser Valley we don’t need much in terms of snowfall accumulations to have a warning,” he says.
“For us here on the south coast it doesn’t take much amounts, especially dealing with the sheer amount of traffic on the road, change in elevation in urban areas, all those factors make us basically issue warnings based on those conditions.”
“It doesn’t take much snow here to have some serious impacts on the roads especially. Now in other parts of the province, of course we would require greater amounts because due to the climatology people are more used to it and we do expect impacts to be less.”
Besson expects the cold weather to continue, with the chance of more snow on Vancouver Island and, maybe, the Fraser Valley on Saturday.
Police reminder about safe winter driving
Now we’ve had our first taste of the winter to come, Constable Forrest Anderson with Merritt RCMP is warning people to be particularly vigilant if they’re heading out of the Lower Mainland.
“You’d want to have good winter tires before coming up here, food and water and stuff in your vehicle in case you get held up overnight. It’s the start of the winter so sometimes people have difficulty adjusting and remembering how to drive in the snow.”
“Take your time and plan ahead, it could be a little bit longer than your usual travel time.”
He’s also reminding drivers to keep food and water in their vehicle in case you get held up overnight.
Sergeant Judy Bird with the Abbotsford Police Department says there are plenty of unforeseen issues on the roads in winter.
“They could have black ice underneath and other drivers may not be prepared to drive in the snow, so to be wary of everyone around us and give everyone lots of room ,give yourself lots of time to get to work.
She says there are more accidents at this time of year, often because people aren’t prepared for changed road conditions.
“And if you’re uncomfortable driving in the snow then perhaps you should be staying home for the day or carpooling with another driver.”