Environment Canada expecting up to 20 cm of snow, arctic air this weekend

By on February 16, 2018
The view from the Coquihalla Highway's Helmer interchange at 11 a.m. this morning, looking north between Merritt and Kamloops. (Photo from Drive B.C.)

Up to 20 centimetres of snow followed by a surge of arctic air is in the forecast for the Merritt area and surrounding highways this weekend.

According to Environment Canada a strong pacific low pressure system will move eastward across Washington State on Saturday.

Snow is forecast to begin early in the day and persist through Saturday night, and, at the same time, a fresh blast of arctic air will arrive, bringing strong winds and areas of blowing snow.

There are special weather statements in place for the Coquihalla Highway between Kamloops and Hope and for Highway 97C from Merritt to Kelowna.
Drive BC has a travel advisory in place for the Coquihalla Highway between Merritt and Hope for the weekend given the significant amount of snow in the forecast.

Drivers are reminded to prepare for changing road conditions and watch for maintenance crews and vehicles.

There has been a fatal collision on the Coquihalla Highway south of Merritt in each of the past two weekends.

29-year-old woman died after a tractor trailer collided with an SUV near the Larson Hill exit on Feb. 3, and a 35-year-old male was struck and killed by a vehicle on Feb. 11 when he stopped to render assistance following an initial collision. exiting his vehicle to render assistance before being struck.

At this time total snowfall amounts are forecast to range between 10 and 20 cm with locally higher amounts possible,” a press release form Environment Canada stated.

The snow is expected to ease on Sunday, but the strong winds will persist.

Cold, dry weather and generally light winds are in store for early next week.

New and changing alerts and forecasts can be monitored at the Environment Canada website and travellers can check road conditions at DriveBC.ca.

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