Many British Columbia residents will be ringing in 2022 as a winter storm rages outside.
Environment and Climate Change Canada has posted a winter storm watch for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley while most of B.C.’s North and central coasts are under winter storm, extreme cold or snowfall warnings.
Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, and the Sea to Sky Highway regions could see a significant mix of snow, rain, strong wind, freezing rain, and even possible flooding this weekend.
The federal weather agency says up to 10 centimetres of snow is expected in some areas beginning Saturday, with higher amounts near Hope, and up to 40 millimetres of rain on Sunday.
There is also the risk of freezing rain overnight Saturday and Sunday morning, and strong winds of up to 90 km/h Sunday near the Strait of Georgia, the agency warned.
On Sunday morning, the snow will change to rain for Metro Vancouver and western sections of the Fraser Valley, while Hope will continue to see significant snowfall through Sunday, the agency said.
The exact precipitation amounts and timing of the changeover to rain still remains uncertain at this point, according to the winter storm watch.
The agency warns that road conditions may quickly deteriorate as snow transitions to rain. Freezing rain may also make surfaces icy and slippery.
Adding to potential woes is that there could be a snowmelt as the temperature rises, causing flooding in areas still recovering from the devastating November floods and mudslides.
On B.C.’s Central Coast, some areas could see up to 50 centimetres of snow through New Year’s Eve and Saturday, and the agency warns that hazardous road conditions are expected.
B.C.’s Peace Region is under an extreme cold weather warning, as temperatures are set to plunge to – 35 C or – 40 C with the wind chill factor on Friday.
The agency is asking residents to check on older family, friends and neighbours, and keep emergency supplies in your vehicle such as extra blankets and jumper cables.