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Widespread snowfall expected next week for Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast

It appears old man winter might be paying the Island and Sunshine Coast a visit next week with temperatures near zero and snowfall likely.

Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Derek Lee says cold air from the north will start making its way to the Island starting on Monday, combining with some damp air.

“We are looking at a pacific system bringing moisture and colliding with the cold air,” said Lee. “So, we are looking at a rather widespread chance of snow even down to the lower elevations across Vancouver Island on Tuesday night and into Wednesday.”

Lee adds the area could see snowfall upwards of 10 centimetres and higher amounts inland. The amount of snow will depend on the timing of the storm, whether or not it comes overnight with lower temperatures.

The reason for the snowfall is because of this year’s La Niña weather pattern with colder air. Snow this early happened last year and earlier, with 23 centimetres falling in November 2006.

“La Niña generally brings colder than average temperatures to B.C., but colder does not always mean we get more snow,” said Lee. “Arctic air can often be very dry, but it does create certain conditions to be cold enough to see widespread snow.”

While the snow will lock in more water higher in the mountains, Lee says it is not the best system to see when water is required coming out of the drought.

Lee cautions drivers and those commuting to be mindful of the conditions on the roads.

“Prepare for rapidly changing weather conditions, heavy snow can lead to slippery conditions and reduced visibility,” said Lee. “As always we encourage the public to stay tuned to the forecast to get the latest timing of the event.”

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