Environment Canada’s weather warnings remain in effect as heavy snowfall is expected to continue throughout Saturday and into Sunday.
The Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Merritt has a winter storm warning, Highway 3 from Hope to Princeton has a snowfall warning and Highway 1 from Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass has a special weather statement. There is no weather statements in place for the Okanagan Connector from Merritt to Peachland at this time.
Out of the three highways, the Coquihalla is expected to get hit the hardest as anywhere from 25-40 centimetres (cm) of snow is forecasted by Sunday morning. Because of this, the province’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has called for it’s first ‘snowshed protocol’ of the fall. It is a plan that goes into effect when the stretch of highway is expecting 15-20 cm of snow or freezing rain conditions over a 12-hour period. The protocol features 10 steps to highway safety.
Despite being labelled with a special weather statement, which isn’t as severe, Highway 1 from Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass is expecting 20-30 cm of snow from Saturday into Sunday morning.
Highway 3 from Hope to Princeton is expecting the least amount of snow out of the three with 15-20 cm in the forecast but remains with the snowfall warning in effect. For Highway 3, precipitation could start as mixed rain and turn into snow as the day goes on.
“Weather in the mountains can change suddenly resulting in hazardous driving conditions,” says Environment Canada in all three weather statements.
Visibility for drivers may be reduced because of heavy snow.
Additionally, Highway 1 is closed Blue Lake Road and Junction Highway 12 as a precaution because of heavy rain, which could spill mud and debris from wildfire affected areas onto the highway.