Get ready for a one-two punch of snow and rain.
Environment Canada has issued a Winter Storm Warning for tomorrow afternoon.
Global BC Meteorologist Mark Madryga says the snow will start to fall sometime after the lunch hour.
“The system [will] rapidly move in from the southwest. Considerable mild air is associated [with that], but at first that mild air will be in higher elevations, and that will bring snow to start this afternoon; heavy, at times. By early evening, we could easily pick up fifteen centimetres of snow, but it will change over to rain by late evening; overnight in most areas, with a pretty good bet of freezing rain in the transition.”
For the Fraser Valley, there’s a chance of up to 20 cm falling, around 5 cm or so for Metro Vancouver.
The snow should end in Metro Vancouver sometime overnight Wednesday, but we should anticipate plenty of rain and localized flooding.
It’s a different story out in the Valley where the snow will not turn into rain until late Thursday afternoon at the earliest.
In Vancouver, extreme weather shelters are open, and warming centres at the Britannia and West End Community Centres have been reactivated.
All hands on deck
BC Hydro says it’s all hands on deck for tomorrow’s anticipated winter storm.
Spokesperson Mora Scott says in-house and contractor crews will be on standby for what could be a very busy night.
“With the freezing rain, it makes the heavy snow that’s already in place even heavier, which adds weight to branches and trees, and this can result in them breaking and coming into contact with our electrical equipment. Our crews have definitely seen this over the past several days and they’ve been really busy repairing damaged lines, power poles, as well as transformers.”
BC Hydro has been grappling with outages across the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island since the surprise return of snow, including 16,000 new ones today alone.
Scott adds snowy roads could slow repairs, and is asking customers to be patient if they find themselves affected.
All public schools in Mission will be closed tomorrow, as will many in Abbotsford (see below for details).
Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows say schools will be open as normal tomorrow.
Chilliwack says it is planning for schools to be open tomorrow, but that the final decision will be made by 5:30 a.m. tomorrow.
Surrey says it will make a decision by 6 a.m.; if parent’s don’t hear anything by that time, schools are open.