Metro Vancouver may break snowfall records this weekend
A special weather statement has been issued for Metro Vancouver and heavy snow is expected this weekend.
Environment Canada says this ferocious winter could break records, urging people to stay off the road if possible.
This time, city crews throughout the Lower Mainland actually had the upper hand.
They knew for days that a storm was coming. The weather is very cold, but mostly dry.
This allows the crew to prep most roads with salt and brine in advance.
Friday morning everyone was on deck at the Surrey Works Yard and Operations Center.
There was a constant stream of salted trucks filling up and crashing into the road.
The city says it has over 10,000 tons of salt on hand and is well prepared.
When the snow starts to fall on Saturday, the crew will be the first to head to the main route.
Crews are asking people to stay home because they can cover more ground when there is less traffic.
“Of course, traffic jams during the actual event can significantly delay response times,” said Matt Brown, Street Manager for the City of Surrey.
The city also faces some unique challenges, he says, such as varying elevation levels.
Nearly the entire state was under some kind of weather alert on Friday as British Columbia was hit by an extreme freeze.
According to Environment Canada, light flakes will begin to fall in Metro Vancouver on Saturday afternoon, with heavy snowfall by evening.
The amount of snow is determined primarily by the strength of the Arctic outflow winds.
A total deposition of 10-20 cm is possible, but at higher elevations it can be up to 30 cm.
A easing is expected for most areas by Sunday afternoon, with clear skies in the forecast.
Armel Castellan, an emergency preparedness meteorologist for Environment Canada, said temperatures in the region are likely to rise to mid-single digits, creating perfect conditions for snowman building.
He also says it’s a bit unusual to see such a sudden snowfall at this time of year.
“This Arctic runoff is pouring into the south coast, and temperatures are well below seasonal values – almost 10 degrees lower,” he said.
Warmer weather is expected by the middle of next week.