Snow, rain expected to make driving over Kootenay mountain passes nasty

Environment Canada issues snowfall and storm warnings for Thursday/Friday

The weather isn’t co-operating much as thousands of Christmas travellers prepare to hit the roads over the next few days.

Environment Canada has issued both a snowfall and winter storm warning for the West Kootenay, as an approaching Pacific frontal system tracks inland later today and stalls across the southern interior tonight.

“Snow at times heavy will begin this evening and then change to showers Friday morning, with local amounts of at least 10 cm expected in West Kelowna, Peachland, Sicamous and Grand Forks,” says the snowfall alert. “General snowfall accumulations of near five centimeters are forecast elsewhere.”

A winter storm warning has also been issued for Highway 3 between the Paulson Summit and Kootenay Pass.

SEE: Environment Canada Public Weather Alerts

“Hazardous witner conditions are expected,” says the federal weather agency. “Snow at times heavy will begin this evening and persist through Friday. Snowfall amounts of 30 to 60 cm can be expected by late Friday afternoon.”

The site advises travellers to adjust their driving to changing road conditions. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow.

“Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult,” says the site. “Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow.”

East Kootenay troubles

Travellers heading east from the area won’t have it much easier.

A local highway maintenance contractor is warning that varying degrees of snowfall are expected in areas around the East Kootenay over the next few days.

Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting is anticipating between two to four centimetres of snow in the valley bottoms and between four and eight centimetres for Kimberley and Panorama.

On Friday, snow is expected to turn into rain in the valleys with an estimated precipitation of 10 to 15 millimetres, while there should be wet snow in higher elevataions of between six and 10 centimetres in the Elk Valley, Panorama and Kimberley areas.

The company reminds drivers to be cautious on the roads, as water on surfaces may freeze when temperatures drop overnight.

DriveBC isn’t reporting any problems with the highway this morning, though it says roads are snowpacked and slippery in sections.

SEE: DriveBC

Weather in the mountains can change suddenly resulting in hazardous driving conditions.

— With files from Trevor Crawley in Cranbrook

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Art as reconciliation: Ymir artist hosting BC Culture Days event

Damian John will lead a workshop titled Exploring Reconciliation Through Creativity

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Lardeau man missing at Duncan Lake

Thomas Schrieber was last seen on Sept. 15

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Brittny Anderson seeks Nelson-Creston NDP nomination

Anderson is currently a member of Nelson city council

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Most Read