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A hidden danger lurks: Wintry conditions, black ice continue to blanket Lower Mainland

Last Updated Jan 17, 2020 at 7:43 am PST

Summary

The snow buildup is largely gone on major routes, but slippery conditions on Lower Mainland roads remain

Black ice is a concern along some roads, with snow melting and water re-freezing overnight

Whiteout conditions are also being reported in parts of the Fraser Valley this Friday

METRO VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The best word to describe conditions on Metro Vancouver roads this Friday is “deceptive.”

The snow buildup is largely gone on major routes, but there’s a more widespread issue drivers are dealing with: black ice.

Patches of the thin coating of glaze are throwing off drivers, who think the situation has been much improved since the worst of the snow this past week.

Black ice can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, especially if they’re driving fast. Some people tell NEWS 1130, once you know you’ve hit a patch, it’s too late.

Experts say there are ways to stay safe. They include watching your speed and giving yourself plenty of space.

While the roads are a little clearer than they have been, there’s also some slush, sheets of snow, and ice patches covering a number of routes through the Lower Mainland.

There are also still some severe winter driving conditions on many roads, including Highway 1 through the Fraser Valley, where there are also sections seeing whiteout conditions.

The flurries we’ve seen overnight are now making their way east, but Meteorologist Russ Lacate says the winter blast isn’t over just yet.

“We have some icy conditions underneath this little film of fresh snow that’s fallen in a few neighbourhoods, some flurries moved on through parts of Surrey, and White Rock, and Langley and Cloverdale,” Russ says, adding some flakes were also falling in places like Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Mission.

“Next to no flakes at all in Metro Vancouver, there’s just scattered flurries in the forecast through drive time for this morning in some neighbourhoods,” he explains, adding one to five centimetres is possible in select areas.

Russ says the main weather event comes later in the day — Friday night.

“This big storm bares down on the coast, during the night, it’s going to bring us a mix of snow and freezing rain and strong wind during the night, and I don’t think it changes over to rain very quickly,” he says.

Saturday brings with it heavier snow accumulation — mainly away from the shoreline, in higher terrain and into the Valley. The snow switches over to rain later on Saturday, with milder temperatures than we’ve been seeing.

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You can also follow meteorologists Russ Lacate and Michael Kuss on Twitter for the latest on the weather conditions. Catch their reports every 10 minutes after traffic.