Winter storm warning on mountain highways in southern B.C.

Heavy snow is expected for southern B.C. interior mountain passes throughout today with significant accumulations already recorded.
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PENTICTON - Motorists using mountain passes should be prepared for winter conditions as heavy snow is falling and is expected to continue to fall on mountain highways in southern B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning today, Dec. 18, for the Coquihalla Highway from Merritt to Hope, the Trans-Canada Highway from Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass, and Highway 3 from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass and from Princeton to Hope.

A moist Pacific frontal system moved inland early this morning and in its wake, a strong southwest flow will send waves of moisture across southern B.C., according to the weather office.

Drivers can expect 15 to 25 centimetres on Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton, with an additional 10 cm accumulating today. A total accumulation of 25 cm is expected.

The Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt has received 17 cm since last night. The snow is expected to ease this morning before reintensfying this afternoon, with an additional 15 to 20 cm expected to fall by late this afternoon.

The snow is expected to continue tonight, bringing an additional 15 cm, with total accumulations reaching 50 cm before the snow eases tomorrow.

The Trans-Canada Highway between Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass is expected to see total accumulations of 15 to 25 cm this morning before another wave of moisture redevelops this afternoon, producing up to 15 cm of new snow today, and an additional 10 cm by tomorrow morning.

Up to 35 cm of snow is also expected on Highway 3 from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass by tonight. The snow will ease overnight as the system moves into Alberta.

Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult, with reduced visibility at times in heavy snow, the warning says.

On the south coast, heavy rain continues and rainfall warnings remain in effect for Howe Sound and the Fraser Valley as Environment Canada calls for total amounts of about 50 millimetres in those areas.

For the very latest on weather warnings in the Interior go to Environment Canada's website here.

For the latest road conditions check out the Drive B.C. website here.

— With files from The Canadian Press


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