Environment Canada has issued rain and snowfall warnings for much of B.C. Nov. 3, 2022. (Image courtesy of Environment Canada)

Rainfall, snow warnings promise poor driving conditions for much of B.C.

Season’s first real snowfall expected in northern communities and southern mountain passes

Many British Columbians are in for their first real bout of winter weather Thursday afternoon (Nov. 3).

Environment Canada is warning of heavy rainfall along the south coast as well as snow both in northern communities and along southern mountain passes. The federal weather agency says things will pick up around midday Thursday and worsen overnight before tapering off Friday.

Rain is expected to be heaviest in Metro Vancouver and Howe Sound, where 50 to 70 mm of rain is forecast to fall Thursday night and Friday. Greater Victoria and East Vancouver Island will also experience wet weather, although less severe at around 30 to 60 mm. Greater Victoria residents can expect heavy winds as well, which could gust up to 80 km/h, according to Environment Canada.

The weather agency is warning that heavy downpours can cause flash floods, localized flooding and landslides in vulnerable areas.

In higher elevation areas, that rain will turn to snow.

Northern communities such as Prince George and 100 Mile House are forecast to see around 15 to 20 cm of snow into Friday, with 30 cm expected near the Cariboo Mountains and Pine Pass themselves.

In the south, mountain passes are forecast to see 15 to 20 cm, including the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt, the Okanagan Connector between Merritt and Kelowna, Highway 3 between Princeton and Hope, and the Sea to Sky Highway between Squamish and Whistler.

Environment Canada is warning drivers to prepare for quickly changing and worsening conditions. It says the wintry weather should ease by midday Friday.

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