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UPDATED: Environment Canada issues Storm Warning for the Boundary/West Kootenay regions

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
December 24th, 2022

And the storms just keep on coming.

Environment Canada has issued another Storm Warning for the Boundary/West Kootenay regions, including Highway 3 Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass.

Environment Canada said in a media statement Monday that hazardous winter conditions can be expected starting Boxing Day (Monday) and through into Tuesday with periods of snow mixed with freezing rain or ice pellets and heavy snow with will result in very challenging driving conditions.

“The first of two storm systems reached the region last (Sunday) night,” Environment Canada said.

“Warmer air associated with this system overrode the cold air in the valleys and is giving a mix of snow, ice pellets and freezing rain to the area. 

“Snowfall accumulations and precipitation types will vary greatly with elevation, so (drivers) should be prepared for quickly changing travel conditions. In general 5 to 15 cm of snow can be expected before precipitation tapers off this afternoon.”

Environment Canada said heavy snow will develop (Monday) night as the second system arrives.

Environment Canada said the Boundary and West Kootenay can expect total snowfall amounts near 15- to 20 cm before snow changes to rain for Tuesday.

Environment Canada said those accumulations will increase to 30 to 40 cm for Highway 3, Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass.

The website Shift Into Winter reminds drivers to be prepared before trips and to adjust to winter driving behaviour and use winter tires and chains.

Road conditions are available at DriveBC.

Snowfall warning set to greet Santa on Christmas Eve

A bout of severe weather will be greeting Santa when he makes his annual visit to homes around the world and the West Kootenay on Saturday.

A snowfall warning is in effect for the entirety of Christmas Eve for the Boundary, Arrow Lakes-Slocan Lake, West Kootenay and Paulson Summit and Kootenay Pass, with total amounts of snow expected to be in the 15 centimetre range (six inches).

An incoming Pacific system is bringing the heavy snow, as the frontal system moves through the B.C. Interior on Saturday — dumping 10 cm of snow in the Boundary — but looks to ease up on Saturday night.

The snowfall warning — issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada — began in the Nelson region around 1:15 p.m. on Friday and remains in effect until Saturday morning.

That snow will continue on Sunday (80 per cent chance) but change to rain on Monday and Tuesday with daytime highs reaching seven degrees Celsius. The temperatures aren’t expected to dip below zero until next weekend.

Just outside of the region heavy snowfall mixed with freezing rain is expected to create hazardous road conditions on Highway 3 from Hope to Princeton and Princeton to Hedley, persisting until Monday.

Based on the latest forecast, drivers are advised to avoid non-essential travel on this route. Those who choose to travel should exercise caution, expect difficult road conditions and be prepared for closures on short notice, noted a DriveBC alert.

“Avalanche technicians are monitoring at-risk areas and will be providing regular hazard updates as conditions change. Drivers are advised of moderate to high avalanche risk and closures on parts of Highway 3 and Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon,” the report delivered Friday night read.

People can check DriveBC for updates before travelling as this storm progresses. For up-to-date information about road conditions, visit www.DriveBC.ca

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