Updated Thursday: Travelling this weekend? Prepare for Significant Snow.

Update: BRRR! It’s cold out there. The models have shifted the snow from Sunday to Monday morning. Environment Canada has also issued a Special Weather statement warning of the possibility of a snow storm.

We have to wait until the forecast comes into the short term before saying for sure where and when and how much… But the possibility continues.

I will have a full update tomorrow.

Unlike November and December where we had a few times when snow was in the models but never really materialized, this weekend looks different.

Above is the snow forecast for Sunday between 4AM and 7AM. It shows a strong band of 2 or more inches of snow falling in that 3 hour period all the way from sea level in Barkley Sound to the highlands of Cowichan Lake.

That is by far the strongest indicator I’ve seen this winter for snow. And because it has that band extending even into Barkley Sound and the south end of the Alberni Inlet I’m inclined to believe there might be a little more snow in our future than the models predict right now.

This is what is expected for between 4AM Sunday and Monday.
This is a lower resolution 12KM forecast. We will have to wait a couple more days before the 4KM resolution forecast comes in that can give us a specific forecast for the Valley, but the image above is pretty clear.

Widespread snowfall of 8-10cm (3.5″ to 4″) from Port Alberni, to Cowichan, Nanaimo, and Duncan.

The biggest thing that could change between now and Sunday is the exact position of the strongest part of this snow. Right now, points slightly north in Qualicum and Courtenay are unlikely to get more than an inch or two… If the system shifts slightly to the north, both Alberni and the North Island (including Mt. Washington) might get a bit more. If it shifts south, Victoria might get more.

No matter what, if you are planning on travelling this weekend, you are going to want to be prepared for the worst. There is always the chance this snow forecast evaporates into thin air like others have… But at this point, given how strong and consistent the models have been for the past week, I think we are 80% sure to have snow on the ground Sunday morning.

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