A snowfall warning has been issued for the stretch of Highway 5 between Merritt and Hope, and Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton, via Allison Pass, as a heavy late season snowfall system enters the area today (March 31).

Environment Canada said in a statement that total snowfall accumulations in the area could reach up to 25 centimetres, with the snow expected to start this afternoon, and persisting through to Saturday evening. Snowfall is expected to be at its most intense later this evening.

“A robust frontal system sliding down the coast tonight will begin to spread light to moderate snow to the Coquihalla Highway starting this morning,” said Environment Canada in a release.

“Freezing levels are expected to remain below summit level this afternoon. Snowfall rates will intensify this evening and persist through Saturday. Total snowfall accumulations could be as high as 25 centimetres, but with warmer road surfaces initially, significant snow isn’t expected to accumulate until later this evening.”

If drivers find their visibility is reduced while driving, they are advised to turn on the vehicle’s lights and maintain a safe following distance behind other traffic. Travel can be hazardous due to reduced visibility in some locations.

Road conditions are available to view at www.drivebc.ca, and drivers are reminded to exercise caution. Adjust to winter driving conditions, and ensure the use of winter tires or snow chains.

For information on emergency plans and kits for winter driving, go to www.getprepared.gc.ca.