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Southwestern B.C.'s first taste of snow

Lisa Varano, staff writer

November 21, 2010 — Widespread snowfall in British Columbia brings out the shovels.

Downtown Vancouver rooftops covered in snow
Downtown Vancouver rooftops covered in snow

Snow is an unusual sight in parts of British Columbia more used to rain. For a change, the rain turned to snow late Friday evening in southern B.C.

Between five and 25 cm of snow coated the ground by Saturday morning. People were digging out in the Vancouver area (8 cm), Victoria (13 cm), and Nanaimo (a whopping 24 cm).

Gerald Cheng, a meteorologist here at The Weather Network, explains what caused all this snow. “Low pressure situated off the south coast combined with Arctic air spreading west from the Prairies to B.C.,” he says.

On B.C.'s central and north coast, powerful winds and cold Arctic air produced overnight windchill values of -20 inland through the weekend.

Average snowfall amounts.
Average snowfall amounts.

The wintery weather knocked out power to thousands of customers on the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island on Saturday, according to B.C. Hydro. Road and ferry delays were also reported in Victoria and other areas not accustomed to snow.

On Sunday, callers to our Stormline (1-800-463-9463) reported that snow had begun falling again on Vancouver Island, including in Nanaimo and Victoria. The sea effect snow showers were significant in areas like Tofino, where almost 10 cm of snow had accumulated by Sunday afternoon.

One part of B.C. that is used to snow is the Interior. Early snowfall this season has allowed several ski resorts to open early.

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