A special weather statement was issued for the Sunshine Coast Wednesday in the wake of a weekend snowfall and plunge in temperatures.
According to Environment Canada, increasing moisture and “a fresh infusion of Arctic air” were expected to bring more snow Thursday night into Friday, driven by “bitterly cold outflow winds,” especially in Howe Sound.
A similar combination of factors led to the Coast’s first taste of winter weather last weekend.
An Arctic outflow bringing cold air from the Interior collided with a warm, wet air system on the south coast, producing the snow that started overnight Feb. 2 and continued through Sunday, with accumulations of anywhere from three to seven centimetres on the Sunshine Coast.
Meteorologist Karmen Hartt said that was well short of the record for Feb. 3, which was 16.4 centimetres in 2017.
Sunshine Coast RCMP and Capilano Highways were both warning people last Sunday not to drive unless they had to, and recommending drivers whose vehicles weren’t equipped with snow tires stay off the roads. Sunshine Coast Transit cancelled service Sunday on several bus routes.
Sunshine Coast RCMP said Monday that while there were several minor incidents, such as cars sliding off the road into ditches, there were no major accidents and no reports of injuries.
It wasn’t just the snow that caused problems Sunday. BC Ferries cancelled the 7:50 p.m. sailing from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale and the 8:55 p.m. out of Langdale because the outflow winds through Howe Sound were gusting at over 100 km/h.
By Monday morning, bus and ferry services were back to normal, although School District No. 46 said some buses had been cancelled, but schools were open.
Hartt said that as well as the possibility of more snow on Thursday and Friday, the forecast was calling for the cold air to stick around through the weekend with temperatures hovering around 10 degrees colder than usual for early February.
The cold weather homeless shelter in Gibsons has been seeing an average of seven clients a night, according to an update at Gibsons council Tuesday night.
Updates on Transit, municipal services and school buses will be available at www.scrd.ca, www.gibsons.ca, www.sechelt.ca and www.sd46.bc.ca.
The latest road conditions can be found at www.drivebc.ca or by calling 1-800-550-4997.