A highly anticipated winter storm seems to have packed a little less punch than expected as it rolls over Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, but the region isn’t out of the woods yet.
An Environment Canada Winter Storm Warning remains in effect at this hour, despite snowfall easing off in some areas.
Global BC Meteorologist Yvonne Schalle says there’s more of the white stuff and the wet stuff on the way.
“Unsettled conditions remain throughout the evening hours, we are still seeing reports of freezing rain, there is the potential to still see accumulating snowfall for the evening hours. There will be a variation however, depending on where you are and the intensity, but we still could see that potential for 5 and up to 20 cm of snow.”
Schalle says warmer air pushing in from the pacific should change precipitation to rain over most of Metro Vancouver as the night progresses
But she says further east, where pockets of arctic air remain and have delivered 60-70 cm of snowfall in some areas, things could get uglier.
“The concern especially for the overnight tonight will be for the Fraser Valley, [where] we are looking at the risk of freezing rain.”
Across the region, tomorrow’s commute is expected to be wet and sloppy.
The City of Vancouver says it has pre-brined roads, and is currently running its full complement of salting/plow trucks on the streets.
Major roads, bus and emergency routes, bridges, and the city’s 15 most used bike routes are being prioritized.
MAP: Priority plow routes for the City of Vancouver
Warming centres are also open again tonight at Vancouver’s Britannia and West End Community Centres.
For transit commuters, it was mostly an easy ride this evening.
In response to the weather forecast, TransLink increased the number of SkyTrains starting at 2 p.m.
For much of the afternoon buses had little in the way of trouble, however, by late evening TransLink was reporting a series of disruptions.
Aside from a medical emergency that forced bus bridges to service the Gateway SkyTrain station, there have been no major problems on the tracks.
Additional staff were be deployed to prevent accumulation of snow and ice on rails as well as on trains in case they needed to be driven manually.
READ MORE: Winter Storm Watch issued
TransLink spokesperson Chris Bryan says the Millennium Line ran slower Wednesday morning due to weather.
Trains stopped because ice on the tracks caused alarms to go off.
— Estefania Duran (@DuranCKNW980) February 8, 2017
Due to the storm rolling in, the following post secondary institutions have cancelled afternoon and evening classes:
- SFU Burnaby Campus
- BCIT (all campuses)
- University of Victoria
- Douglas College
- Langara College
- University of the Fraser Valley (3 p.m.)
- Kwantlen Polytechnic University (4 p.m.)
- Justice Institute New Westminster
- Vancouver Community College (6 p.m.)
For Thursday, the Chilliwack and Abbotsford School Districts say they will be making a final decision on school closures by 5:30 a.m., while Surrey will decide by 6 a.m. and Langley and Coquitlam will make their decision by 6:30 a.m.
With files from Koy Tayler