Snowfall warning issued as Vancouver Island braces for up to 30 cm
VICTORIA -- A number of weather warnings have been issued for Vancouver Island Tuesday, as the majority of the region braces for up to 30 centimetres of snow.
While weather warnings issued Tuesday morning initially predicted snowfall amounts of 10 to 15 centimetres, by 2:40 p.m. Environment Canada updated the severity of their warning, predicting snowfall amounts of 20 to 30 centimetres across the majority of the island.
The weather agency says that approximately 10 to 20 centimetres are expected to fall across most of the island, with additional flurries dumping 10 to 15 centimetres in certain areas.
At approximately 4:45 p.m., Environment Canada also issued wind warnings for Greater Victoria and East Vancouver Island. Winds of up to 90 km/h are expected to sweep across the two regions, in addition to the snowfall.
"Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve," warns Environment Canada.
The winds are expected to last through Wednesday and ease Thursday morning.
Victoria's handyDART transit services are moving to "essential services only," the transit authority announced Tuesday.
All customers will be transported home and all non-medical trips will be cancelled
The Greater Victoria School District said schools will remain open Tuesday but the district is closely monitoring deteriorating weather conditions.
"All schools will remain open until regular dismissal times today, however, should parents feel the need to pick up students early for the afternoon commute, students will be released to parents," the district said in a statement.
"Students will not be marked absent if they must be excused early."
Camosun College said it will be closing at 4 p.m. to avoid the worst of the storm.
CFB Esquimalt reduced its personnel to critical staff only in light of the snowfall. This includes the CANEX, the museum and the Naden Athletic Centre.
According to Environment Canada, a low pressure centre is set to reach the island Tuesday night, which will begin in the evening and intensify overnight.
During that time, an estimated 10 to 15 centimetres of snow is expected to fall over Greater Victoria, East Vancouver Island, Inland Vancouver Island and West Vancouver Island.
Environment Canada warns that the snow could accumulate quickly, which can make travel difficult. Drivers and pedestrians are urged to be cautious on roads and walkways at all times.
The weather agency says that this is the second "more organized" weather system to reach the island following Monday's snowfall. The snow is predicted to reach as far north as Nanaimo and Port Renfrew overnight before easing Wednesday morning.
By Wednesday during the day, heavy snowfall will begin to transition further north on the island and fall over the Parksville-Qualicum and Courtenay-Comox regions, according to Environment Canada.
The latest updates on Environment Canada's weather alerts can be found online here.