Snowfall warning for southern interior passes


Environment Canada has issued warnings and special weather statements for the southern interior, as heavy snowfall is expected on many British Columbia highways within the next 24 hours.

Although spring has officially arrived, weather can change quickly on high mountain passes, and drivers can still encounter challenging conditions.

Snow is expected to start falling in the southern interior this afternoon, with as much as 30 centimetres expected on Highway 3 from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass by tomorrow morning.

Ten to 15 centimetres of snow are forecast for the Coquihalla between Hope and Merritt, Highway 3 from Hope to Princeton, and sections of Highway 97 and 97C.

In other areas, 10 to 20 centimetres are expected for the Trans-Canada Highway from Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass. The South Peace River region could see 15 to 25 centimetres.

The ministry’s road and bridge maintenance contractors are prepared for this late season storm, and will fully deploy resources as needed to ensure public safety.

While winter tire and chain regulations ended March 31, it’s a good idea to keep vehicles equipped and to check DriveBC before setting out, especially if you are travelling mountain passes in the Interior and northern parts of the province.

The ministry recently announced several enhancements to winter maintenance and preparation that will go into effect next winter, including extending winter tire and chain regulations on select highways to April 30.

Other changes include improved oversight of highway maintenance contractors, stricter commercial vehicle chain-up restrictions and fines, and investing $1.8 million over the next three years in additional weather stations and overhead message signs to provide better real-time weather and road condition information.