March in Merritt began with a downpour of snow this morning, and Environment Canada is now warning highway drivers.

A snowfall warning is in effect on the Coquihalla between Merritt and Hope with up to 25 cm of the white stuff expected to fall on the highway.

Twenty to 30 cm is expected to hit the Coquihalla Summit and Kootenay Pass by Wednesday morning.

A strong pacific cold front is making its way through the Southern Interior this afternoon and evening, which will bring lowering freezing levels and heavy snow to mountain passes.

Environment Canada advises drivers to be prepared for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions.

Visibility can be limited in heavy snowfalls.

Environment Canada meteorologist David Jones told the Herald that towards the weekend the summits of mountain passes are expected to see more snow, but down in valley bottoms such as Merritt will receive rain.

Check road conditions before driving at


This story was updated at 2:18 p.m. with comments from Environment Canada meteorologist David Jones.