The nasty winter weather system that has gripped the Coquihalla since Wednesday afternoon has been extended until Friday.
Environment Canada's latest update states the region could see "total snowfall accumulations up to 35 centimetres possible by Friday morning".
Environment Canada reports that driving conditions are hazardous this morning with freezing levels varing from Hope to the Coquihalla Summit depending on the intensity of the precipitation. This will result in challenging road conditions as snow and rain mix to create slushy and slippery surfaces.
The warm front should make its way through this afternoon, changing the rain/snow mix to rain. There is the potential for freezing rain this morning and early afternoon as the warm front passes through.
However, rain will change back to snow late this evening resulting in further snowfall accumulations. The snow will ease to flurries Friday morning.
Environment Canada recommends motorists consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve however if you do need to travel prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions.
Drivers are reminded that before heading out onto the highways today to check regional road alerts at www.q101.ca
Hazoudous driving conditions continue to greet motorists on the Coquihalla this morning as an intense Pacific weather system continues to dump snow on the highway at this hour.
Environment Canada meteorologist Bobby Sekhon said the frontal system has stalled over the area and has the potential to dump up to 35 cms on the highway before changing to rain this afternoon.
Speed limits have been drastically reduced on the Coquihalla since the snow began Wednesday afternoon with some areas such as Zopkios and Great Bear speeds at 60 km/h.
Check driving conditions before you head out by going to www.q101.ca.
more to come
(Road conditions deteriorating fast as we look at Coquihalla Lakes, south of Merritt)
It will be anything but a pleasant drive on the Coquihalla over the next 24-hours as an intense weather system hits the area for the first major storm of 2019.
Meteorologist Bobby Sekhon with Environment Canada said anyone who needs to travel between Hope and Merritt could see as much as 35 cm of snow by Thursday afternoon.
“This is shaping up to be a pretty significant weather system which could make driving at times very difficult,” said Sekhon. “The system is moving in from the Pacific and the Coquihalla will see the brunt of the snow overnight tonight (Wednesday) or Thursday morning.”
Sekhon added that snow is not the only thing motorists can expect in the region.
“This system is going to be a real mixed bag of everything,” he said. “We will see snow until Thursday morning then that should turn to rain on Thursday afternoon.”
He noted that drivers should expect hazardous driving conditions and adjust speeds as necessary.
For complete updates on the road conditions on the Coquihalla visit Q101.ca.
Environment Canada is warning motorists travelling the Coquihalla between Hope and Merrit to expect hazardous driving conditions later today as an intense Pacific frontal system stalls over the region this afternoon.
Drivers can expect upwards of 35 centimetres of snowfall accumulation to fall over the highway by late Thursday as the snow changes to rain late in the afternoon.
more to come.