You could call it a “snowmageddon” or a “snowpocalypse”, the East Kootenay’s first significant winter snowstorm of the year, although not like the record snowfalls of 2016 or 2017.
Cranbrook and are got an estimated 15 to 20 centimetres of accumulation overnight and early Friday morning although accumulations are varying in Kimberley and in the Columbia Valley.
Environment Canada issued Snowfall Warnings for the Elk Valley, Yoho and Kootenay National Park, and Highway 3 from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass on Thursday, and as of Friday morning, they all remain in effect.
More: B.C. Weather Alerts (Environment Canada)
The Elk Valley was forecast to get 15 centimetres on Thursday but anywhere from 15 to 20 centimetres is expected to be the total accumulation amount. Meanwhile, Kootenay Pass and the National Parks got absolutely hammered with snow and could be in for even more Friday and Saturday. Environment Canada says another 20 to 60 centimetres of snow could fall in Kootenay Pass by Saturday afternoon while Yoho and Kootenay National Park could get an additional 20 to 40 centimetres.
Regardless of the differing amounts, the entire Southern Interior of B.C. got hammered with snow overnight.
The forecast is now calling for rain later Friday morning, and with the existing heavy and wet snow, road conditions could turn extremely hazardous, whether the highways be slippery, icy, or slushy, expect limited visibility and less than ideal winter driving conditions.
Motorists are asked to use extreme caution, adjusting their speed to the current road conditions and ensuring that their vehicle is full clear of any snow or debris to ensure clear sightlines out of your car, truck or SUV.
Keep up to date with the ever-changing road conditions through Drive BC and make sure you’re equipped with an emergency preparedness kit before you drive.
More: Current Road Conditions (Drive BC)
Drive BC has since issued the following emergency message to motorists as a result of the province-wide conditions.
“Heavy snowfall is occurring and expected to continue through the day for many routes. Travellers are encouraged to consider alternate plans if travelling via Highway 1, 3, 5, 5A and are asked to plan ahead.”