Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer
November 25, 2010 — Snow that has been falling in Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria and BC's Fraser Valley for the past couple of days is transitioning over to rain. A soggy weekend is expected for the region.
Winter arrived early this year in British Columbia, setting records along the way. On Thursday, both Vancouver and Victoria saw nearly 10 cm of snow, smashing records set back in 1985.
“A warm front that moved in from the Pacific is what helped to bring all of the snow,” says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
The snow has lead to poor conditions on the roads and several accidents have been reported over the past couple of days. Flight delays in and out of Vancouver International Airport were also an issue.
Now, the snow is slowly starting to transition over to rain, which will persist through the weekend and is expected to create thick slush on the roads.
For many, this is the latest in a series of wintery events in southern BC. The province got a snowy surprise over the weekend, and it was accompanied by a bitterly cold blast of arctic air. Temperatures have plunged below the freezing mark right across the province. In many cases, cities are experiencing daytime highs more than 10 degrees below normal for this time of year. On Tuesday, the temperature in Vancouver dipped to a bone-chilling -9°C.
On Monday, strong winds knocked out power to more than 20,000 homes in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Langley.
Meanwhile, another bout of snow blanketed Victoria on Monday. The conditions were bad enough to shut down some ferry routes between the islands. Schools were closed and buses were cancelled The city urged drivers to stay off the roads so that they could get them cleared. Police in Saanich received so many calls that they had to ask residents to stop calling 911 about the snow conditions.
While it's looking and feeling like winter in parts of BC, it's even colder across the Prairies. Daytime highs are sitting in the minus 20's, and windchills are making it feel closer to minus 40.
Still, there is some good news in the long range forecast.
“Instead of that deep trough we've been seeing in the west, the jet stream will shift to a more zonal pattern,” says Dillon. “As a result, temperatures could climb back to seasonal through the weekend.”
To stay up-to-date on the weather in your area, head to our Canadian Cities Index. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV. The National Forecast come sup at the top and bottom of each hour.
With files from Beverley Ann D'Cruz and Andrea Stockton