Snow Storm, Frozen Roads and Major Delays in Vancouver

A very cold arctic air mass is sitting over much of B.C., bringing heavy snow and extreme cold temperatures. Follow this story for the latest weather forecast, road closures and airport delays. People across B.C. woke up to heavy snow and extreme cold temperatures as a massive arctic system moved across the province.

Snow Storm in Vancouver
Severe winter weather

Accumulations of 10 to 15 centimetres were expected through Tuesday afternoon, and as much as 20 cm for the southern half of Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, but in many areas even more than that fell.

By early afternoon, most snowfall warnings had ended but arctic outflow warnings remained in place across much of B.C., including Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

Drivers should brace for difficult driving conditions with snow-covered, icy roads all over the south coast and Island.

Check back throughout the day for more weather and traffic updates.

Major delays in Vancouver

B.C. snowfall warnings give way to extreme cold alert

Environment Canada has revised most of its public weather alerts for British Columbia from snowfall warnings to arctic outflow warnings.

Most of the snow forecast to fall has already dropped in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, but the massive arctic system will linger, making for very cold temperatures and even colder wind chills.

On Monday, Environment Canada issued snowfall and wind warnings for the B.C. south coast including Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Greater Victoria and Vancouver Island.

Accumulations of 10 to 15 centimetres were expected through Tuesday afternoon, and as much as 20 cm for the southern half of Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands. Actual snowfall amounts in most areas were even greater than those estimates, especially on the Island.

As Tuesday dawned, there were special weather warnings in effect for 41 of the remaining geographic regions.

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These warnings are issued for extreme cold, snowfall, arctic outflow (winds) and winter storms.

Haida Gwaii and the northern tip of Vancouver Island were the only coastal areas with no warnings in place.

The Fraser Valley including Hope, Chilliwack and Abbotsford is under an arctic outflow warning, causing wind chills between –20ºC and –25ºC. Thermostats will read at least five to 10 degrees below seasonal norms in the region through Thursday before a sudden shift that will see temperatures jump to around plus-5 to plus-7ºC.

Those with pets or outdoor animals are advised to provide proper shelter during the cold snap.

‘Mass cancellations’ at Vancouver airport

YVR temporarily suspended many flights both arriving and leaving the airport Tuesday morning due to the fierce snowstorm.

The airport authority said mid-morning on Tuesday that the current winter storm including severe snowfall has had an unprecedented impact on flights, affecting operations at YVR, with mass cancellations overnight.

“Travel continues to be significantly impacted this morning and we anticipate cancellations and delays to continue through the day and the week ahead,” said spokesperson Megan Sutton in a statement.

She added there were currently no flights departing YVR as it works to “safely get passengers off aircraft and clear the airfield and aircraft of snow and ice to get planes and people moving again.”

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