Snow, rain, freezing rain in southern B.C. as frigid cold, storms hit Western Canada

VANCOUVER – Metro Vancouver was added Friday to regions of British Columbia’s inner south coast under a winter storm watch as the latest weather system was forecast.

Environment Canada says the system could dump another two to 10 centimetres of snow on an area from Vancouver to the Fraser Valley on Saturday, followed by up to 40 millimetres of rain on Sunday and the chance of freezing rain at night.

Special weather statements were also posted for all southern Interior mountain passes, including the Coquihalla Highway and Allison Pass with the potential for 15 to 30 centimetres of snow by Monday.

An arctic outflow warning continued to push wind chill values to -20 C in the Fraser Valley while snowfall, winter storm or extreme cold warnings covered areas from the central and north coasts to parts of northeastern B.C. and regions on both sides of the B.C.-Yukon boundary.

All of Alberta, most of Saskatchewan and all of central and southern Manitoba were also shivering under extreme cold warnings as wind chill values made it feel as cold as -50 C in many areas, although the weather office says conditions should improve through the weekend.

Snow over B.C.’s inner south coast forced Canada Post to suspend mail delivery earlier this week to parts of eastern Vancouver Island, Gabriola Island and the Gulf Islands but a statement on its website offered some hope of delivery Friday.

The postal service said a yellow service alert was posted for parts of the Lower Mainland, including Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast and Powell River, as well as Nanaimo, south Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Letter carriers would do their best to deliver but heavy snowfall could cause delays in those areas, the message said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 31, 2021.

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