STORM CENTRE: Lower Mainland snow day could be record-setting

As Metro Vancouver sees the biggest snowfall of the season so far, many commuters are ditching their cars, resorting to public transit and walking instead.

A snowfall warning officially ended in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Wednesday evening, but the regions are still dealing with the aftermath of a snowstorm that some say could be record-setting.

Snow started falling around midnight, with snow continuing to come down into the morning commute.

CityNews Meteorologist Michael Kuss says the region could see record amounts of snow across parts of the region Wednesday.

“This has the potential to be a record-setting snowfall day for the city of Vancouver, stretching out into the (Fraser) Valley as well, as we approach those higher numbers. A lot of spots already over 10 centimeters of snow, pushing 15 cm in many locations. I wouldn’t be shocked by 20-plus cm for parts of Metro Vancouver, let alone the Valley. As you get farther to the east, 20 to 25 centimeters not out of the question before things taper off,” Kuss said just after 7 a.m.

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Kuss says the snow won’t taper off until around the early afternoon, adding “snow will be more on than off until about 10 a.m. and then become a little on and off” as we move into the afternoon.

Meanwhile, snow mixing with rain has the potential to create freezing rain, leading to slippery roadways.

On Monday, road maintenance crews and the provincial government issued warnings to British Columbians to prepare for snow beginning as early as Tuesday night.

Darren Ell, general manager of Mainroad Lower Mainland Contracting, said his crews were preparing for the weather by applying anti-icing brine, salting, and preparing snow plows.

“If we start having a build-up of ice on the road, we’ll be using winter sand, which is coarser and gives better traction,” Ell said.

Ell says his snow removal crews and equipment are ready to go, but in order to do their job effectively, they need other drivers to give them space. That includes not trying to pass plows or salt trucks on the right side, he adds.

Meanwhile, the province has urged anyone planning to drive during the storm to rethink whether they really need to, saying “people should avoid travel by vehicle on Tuesday night through Wednesday morning’s commute.”

“Should travel be necessary, drivers must ensure their vehicle is properly equipped for winter conditions, including having winter or snow-rated tires in good condition,” the B.C. government said in a release Monday night.

The province notes its crews are also preparing for snow, and that bridges and roads may be closed to traffic for safety if the weather requires it.

Listen to CityNews 1130 for weather updates after traffic every 10 minutes on the ones. You can also follow Meteorologist Michael Kuss on X and subscribe to breaking news alerts sent directly to your inbox.

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