With freezing levels and temperatures on the decline, and a forthcoming Pacific front moving in Saturday night, this is setting the stage for some snowfall near sea level across Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland Sunday. While precipitation is likely to begin as rain as it comes onshore, it will change to wet snow by early Sunday morning with the drop in temperatures. Downtown Vancouver may see up to 5 cm of snow, but elevations near 400 metres in the metro area could get up to 10 cm of snow. Inland and higher elevations of eastern Vancouver Island will see even higher accumulations. Beyond, forecasters are closely monitoring the potential for more systems for mid- and late-week. For a closer look, see below.
Freezing levels will be at 400 metres Sunday
Rain or snow begins Saturday evening, changes to wet snow Sunday morning, coastal areas may see just rain or a rain/snow mix
Potential systems next week
SATURDAY/SUNDAY: LOW FREEZING LEVELS BRING SNOW FOR THE SOUTH COAST
With temperatures plunging due to a cool airmass that has settled in, an incoming low-pressure system will bring snow or rain Saturday evening on Vancouver Island and the overnight hours for the Lower Mainland and Malahat Highway.
The mixed precipitation will change to wet snow by early Sunday morning as precipitation rates rise.
The complex terrain around the South Coast will result in varied snowfall totals across the region. Communities near the water including Comox, Parksville, Nanaimo and downtown Vancouver may up to 5 cm of snow. Higher elevations and inland sections of Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley-West, Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast will see higher accumulations.
At this time, elevations near 400 metres in Metro Vancouver could see up to 10 cm of snow. Inland and higher elevations of eastern Vancouver Island, from Campbell River to Courtenay, may see 10-20 cm.
As you trek further into the southern Interior, there will be very little, if any, snow, given that though there will be abundant cold, but little moisture to work with.
Snow will change to rain or become mixed with rain late Sunday afternoon. Effects from the system look to taper off by early Monday morning.
NEXT WEEK: CHANCE OF MORE UNSETTLED WEATHER MID- AND LATE-WEEK
Freezing levels will climb steadily after this system passes, rising to 900 metres by mid-week. Meanwhile, forecasters are keeping an eye on another potent system sliding down the coast during the middle of the week.
However, at this time, it will most likely stay too far offshore to have a major impact on the region, but it warrants a close monitoring.
Another system is possible late-week or on the weekend.
Check back as we continue to watch the weekend forecast.