The level of excitement is maybe a little higher than the actual chance for significant snowfall in any given spot.
Much like we saw in December, we don’t have enough cold air in a stable and persistent way to guarantee an Island wide snow event. So let’s look at the most likely spots for accumulation and the timing.
The picture above shows the progression of the front down the Island before midnight with showers (grey) in the lead and snowfall coming behind as the precipitation strengthens.
All areas close to sea level start as rain. However, at higher elevations, we can expect to see either snow to start a little earlier or switch quickly by midnight.
Before sunrise Sunday.
By 7AM, the picture below shows the main front has passed. There is not a large amount of area with snow
If we look at the 3hr period from 4AM-7AM this is when the main front moves through with maximum precipitation.
We can see in this picture that the precipitation remains as showers at sea level. All areas of the East side, Port Alberni, Victoria and likely the West Coast remain in grey showers. Higher elevations and possibly those deeper inland like Lake Cowichan and the Alberni Valley will probably get more snow on the ground.
So in the main, this is looking like a high elevation snow event, in the overnight and early morning.
East Coast Snow Sunday Morning
Things change slightly on Sunday morning as the front moves away and Easterly winds out of the Fraser Valley kick up.
In the image above for 10AM to 1PM Sunday we can see some low level snow lingering in Vancouver and easterly winds pushing across the Strait to the Nanaimo/Ladysmith area. There are some areas of sea level snow there so beware if you are in the Nanaimo or North Cowcihan area and up to the Malahat and Alberni Highway that you can expect possibly heavy areas of snowfall in this time.
It is unlikely that Port Alberni will see any snow Sunday as it is usually in the lee of the mountains when the wind is coming from the East.
Lingering threat Sunday afternoon and evening.
There will continue to be showers and flurries throughout the afternoon on Sunday on the East Coast from Campbell River all the way down to Mill Bay. Be careful if you need to be on the road. Conditions will be changing rapidly.