Below you will see the warning EC has issued.
A Winter Storm Watch is issued when there are multiple winter warnings in play. In this case as it was in November 2010, the watch has been issued because a combination of a snowfall warning (15cm or more) and a freezing rain warning (any amount) may be issued.
The watch is not yet a Warning, this will happen by the 11AM or more likely 4PM forecast update. So watch for that. If things change, either the amount of snow expect decreases, or the risk of freezing rain decreases or both, then it may be downgraded to one of those warnings or taken away completely.
At this point though, I would expect it to remain. I think we are setting up for a pretty classic, and dangerous, bit of west coast weather.
I would postpone any driving you may need to do on Friday until at least Saturday, if not Sunday.
“Inland Vancouver Island
5:55 AM PST Thursday 19 January 2012
Winter storm watch for
Inland Vancouver Island continued
Potential exists for up to 15 cm of snow on Friday with freezing rain developing later in the day.
This is an alert to the potential development of dangerous winter weather conditions in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..Listen for updated statements.
An Arctic ridge of high pressure over the British Columbia interior is producing strong outflow winds through coastal valleys and inlets. The strong outflow winds in combination with very cold air are producing wind chill values exceeding minus 20 degrees for much of the BC coast with values ranging from minus 35 to 40 reported on the north coast. Wind chill values over the south coast will increase to above minus 20 later today.
A significant winter storm with snow, areas of strong winds and possible freezing rain is expected tonight and Friday. Snow will begin over Haida Gwaii, Central Coast – coastal sections and North Coast – coastal sections tonight where 10 to 15 cm will fall by Friday morning. A further 10 cm is expected for North Coast – coastal sections on Friday. In addition very strong outflow winds gusting to 90 km/h combined with new snow will create blizzard conditions over North Coast – inland sections tonight through Friday.
On Friday there will be a transition to mild and moist Pacific air over the south coast due to a southwesterly flow. A significant snowfall of 10 to 15 cm is possible for inland sections along with several hours of freezing rain later in the day. At this point in time it is uncertain how much snow will fall and when the snow changes to freezing rain. Meanwhile, southeast winds of 90 km/h will develop over North Vancouver Island early Friday morning.
WWW.WEATHEROFFICE.GC.CA Road conditions can be monitored at WWW.DRIVEBC.CA.