Environment Canada has issued the following special weather statement about the weekend possibilities.
3:07 PM PST Thursday 20 February 2014
Special weather statement for
Inland Vancouver Island issued
Complex weather pattern this weekend.
Environment Canada is monitoring a weather system that is forecast to reach the South Coast this weekend. Similar to recent storms that have affected the Lower Mainland, it has the potential to generate snow near sea level for portions of the South Coast. While it is possible that precipitation will fall in the form of snow, it is still highly uncertain whether surface temperatures will be sufficiently cold for snow to accumulate.
Current indications are that precipitation from this system will begin sometime Saturday and continue Sunday. Forecast certainty with regards to the location, amount, and timing of snow will increase as the weekend nears.
As of this afternoons 4PM update, they are calling for snow or rain on Saturday and rain or snow on Sunday. (whichever they mention first is most probable).
The cause of their concern is that even though most others are predicting some rain or snow mix, one normally reliable model in particular has predicted, for the past two days and four runs in a row, up to a foot of snow on the East Coast of the Island between Saturday and Sunday morning.
You can see all the forecasts for that same time to see how they’ve changed by going here.
The following is a worst case scenario.
This might not happen at all, it might all fall as rain. But with the model being so persistent and the start being less than 48hrs away, it’s worth giving this rundown.
Here is the higher resolution, zoomed in version for the same 4AM Saturday to 4AM Sunday period.
Again, take this as a worst case scenario, not as a perfect prediction. Duncan, Nanaimo and Courtenay are each in the red hues indicating up to a foot of snow but the entire Island is blanketed.
It will be moving over the Island from North to South.
As you can see here, this model has it starting in Courtenay by 9AM Saturday.
And the Island fully involved and accumulating at 2cm (1″) per hour by 4PM.
This is a worst case scenario but plan your travel carefully.
Next update from me will be late tonight or early tomorrow.