Snow expected Monday across B.C. southern Interior: Environment Canada

Environment Canada has issued winter storm and snowfall warnings for swaths of B.C.’s southern Interior, including stretches of several highways.

It says heavy snowfall is expected to begin early Monday and intensify throughout the day, bringing potentially hazardous driving conditions.

The weather agency is calling for snowfall up to 35 cm in the Similkameen and Elk Valley areas that should taper off Monday night, while Nicola and Boundary could see accumulations up to 20 cm.

Snowfall is expected to be more variable in the Okanagan, with less accumulation at lower elevations, though Environment Canada says the highway between Merritt and Kelowna could see heavier snow.

The Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Merritt and Highway 3 from Hope to Princeton are subject to winter storm warnings, while Highway 3 from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass is under a lower-level storm watch.

Environment Canada has also issued special weather statements for parts of Vancouver Island, including Greater Victoria, as well as the southern Gulf Islands and Metro Vancouver, which could see wet snow on Monday.

“A low pressure system crossing Washington state Monday will bring abundant moisture to southern sections of the south coast,” the weather agency says in a statement posted online Sunday.

“Areas with the heaviest precipitation will see the heavy rain switch over to heavy wet snow,” starting around 150 metres above sea level, it says.

The rain should not be as heavy for northern parts of Vancouver, it says, so any snow will likely fall around 200 m above sea level or more.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 20, 2020.