British Columbia Daily Snow

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Snow for Southern BC on Thursday-Friday


Dry conditions will persist for one more day on Wed, then a storm system will impact Southern BC on Thu-Fri with periods of snow expected for both the Coast Range and Interior along with low snow levels for most. Additional snow showers can also be expected Sat & to a lesser extent Sun-Mon. We will see a break in the pattern early/mid next week with snow chances returning late in the week.

Short Term Forecast

Forecast for Wednesday:

We will see one more day of spring skiing conditions with mostly sunny skies and relatively mild temperatures. High temps at mid-mountain elevations will range from 2 to 4ºC across the Interior and 4 to 6º across the Coast Range with softening snow conditions during the afternoon hours.

Forecast for Thursday to Friday:

A trough of low pressure originating in the Gulf of Alaska will track southeastward and move across the Washington/Oregon border region, with a couple of embedded waves moving into Southern BC from the southwest.

Coastal BC:

Snow will begin on Thursday morning as the first weaker wave arrives with some lulls possible on Thursday afternoon. The second wave will bring heavier and more widespread snow from Thursday night through Friday morning with additional snow showers on Friday afternoon and Friday night.

Snow levels will start out at 600-900 meters (2-3k feet) during the day on Thursday, then a cold front will arrive on Thursday afternoon with snow levels lowering behind the front and ranging from 300-600 meters (1-2k feet) from Thursday night through Friday night.

Snowfall will be heaviest across the North Shore Mountains with snow totals ranging from 15-35 cm (6-14") at Cypress, Grouse, Seymour, and Sasquatch from Thursday morning through Saturday morning. Snow totals will range from 8-20 cm (3-8") at Whistler and Mt. Washington, and 5-15 cm (2-6") at Manning Park.

Plan on heading out on Friday to catch the deepest conditions while Saturday will also offer plenty of leftovers along with soft snow conditions.

Interior BC:

Snow showers will begin on Thursday afternoon, then snowfall will become heavier and more widespread on Thursday night/Friday morning, with a second wave arriving from the southwest on Friday afternoon and Friday night.

Snow levels will start out in the 900-1,200 meter range (3-4k feet) on Thursday afternoon/evening, but then a cold front will arrive on Thursday evening with snow levels falling behind the front, ranging from 150-750 meters (500-2,500 ft) from Thursday night through Friday night.

Winds will be relatively light but also variable with this storm, generally ranging from southwest to east to north as the second wave will feature an area of low pressure tracking from the Southern Interior into the Rocky Mountain Trench. 

Instability in the atmosphere during the afternoon hours will also result in localized bands of heavy snow, which could also lead to more variable snow totals than usual.

Here is what I am generally expecting:

And here is a graphical projection from a blend of weather models:

I'm expecting Friday afternoon and Saturday morning to offer the deepest conditions on the slopes. Keep in mind that conditions will be variable by aspect and elevation given that we are in late March.

Northern BC:

Most of the action will stay in Southern BC with only some light snow showers reaching Shames Mountain, Hudson Bay Mountain, and Powder King. Snow accumulations for these areas will be minor, ranging from a trace to several centimeters.

Forecast for Saturday:

A trailing storm will take a similar path from northwest to southeast with the center of the storm passing south of BC. However, residual moisture from this storm will reach BC with variable winds and daytime instability contributing to additional snow showers. 

I'm expecting snow totals to generally range from 2-10 cm (1-4") across both the Coast Range and Interior with isolated higher amounts possible. Snow levels will also remain low with a cold airmass in place. Northern BC will be right on the fringe once again with only flurries expected.

Extended Forecast

On Sunday and Monday, we will see enough lingering moisture to result in isolated light snow showers/flurries, mainly during the afternoon hours. But overall, snowfall will be decreasing compared to prior days. Temperatures will remain cold, however, which will keep snow levels low and will help to keep snow conditions soft in sun-protected areas.

We will likely see a break around the middle of next week (March 28th-29th) as the next storm passes well south of the area. Snow chances could then return by March 30th-31st as a storm is projected to arrive from the northwest.

Heading into early April, an unsettled pattern is expected with weaker storms looking more likely as opposed to stronger storms. However, temperatures will be colder than average and snow levels will remain low for this time of year as a result.

Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Friday (March 24).