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Winter wallop as Coquihalla, Sea to Sky see significant snowfall

Last Updated Dec 28, 2017 at 3:16 pm PDT

Heavy snowfall on the Coquihalla Highway (December 28th, 2017) (Photo via Facebook/Karie Ghering)

Heavy snowfall impacting commuters hitting out of town highways during the holidays

Warning to avoid driving some major routes as wintry blast hits some BC highways

WHISTLER (NEWS 1130) – Depending on where you’re heading, you could be experiencing some interesting driving conditions, ranging from freezing rain to snow.

DriveBC has issued a travel advisory for the Coquihalla Highway, noting you should prepare for possible delays, and expect heavy snow which will make roads difficult to drive and could reduce visibility.

“You’ve got areas where there’s going to be heavier snow happening, especially on the upslope areas coming from Hope to the Coquihalla summit, where you’ll probably see the heaviest snow,” explains Allan Coldwells, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

There’s also a snowfall warning in effect for the Sea to Sky Highway.

Environment Canada reports there has been roughly 10-20 centimetres of snowfall since it started coming down last night, and there could be an additional 15 centimetres by the end of Thursday.

“We have another system coming in [Friday], which will bring more heavy snow into that region once again for [Friday] night and into Saturday morning, and then we should see that taper off into the day hours on Saturday,” says Coldwells.

Locally, a winter storm warning remains in effect for the Fraser Valley, with Environment Canada suggesting you put off any non-essential travel until conditions improve. Parts of the Fraser Valley could receive as much as 30 centimetres of snowfall.

Meantime, a snowfall warning has ended for a very wet North Shore, Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster, but it’s a different story on high terrains.

Joe Lammers with Avalanche Canada says anyone headed into the backcountry over the next few days should be properly trained and equipped with appropriate gear, including shovels, beacons and probes.

“If you’re not trained in avalanche safety and you’re not proficient at recognizing terrain that’s appropriate for the conditions, this might not be the time to venture into the back country,” says Lammers. “Instead, maybe stay within the boundaries of your local ski resort.”

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