An unsettled pattern will linger across BC from Friday through Monday, resulting in off-and-on snow showers with variable totals each day. Snow levels will remain low with a cold airmass in place. Dry & sunny conditions will return during the middle of next week, then a storm is possible around March 31st-April 1st.
Short Term Forecast
Preliminary Snow Totals:
Snowfall ranged from 4-18 cm across the Coast Range on Thursday-Thursday night, while snowfall has been more variable across the Interior and primarily confined to western and southern portions of the Interior so far.
Here are the latest snow totals from Thursday AM through early Friday AM:
- 18 cm (7") - Whistler
- 18 cm (7") - Mt. Seymour
- 14 cm (6") - Big White
- 14 cm (6") - Sasquatch Mountain
- 12 cm (5") - Apex
- 10 cm (4") - Cypress Mountain
- 9 cm (4") - Grouse Mountain
- 9 cm (4") - Silver Star
- 9 cm (4") - Whitewater
- 7 cm (3") - Red Mountain
- 6 cm (2") - Shames Mountain
- 5 cm (2") - Fernie
- 5 cm (2") - Mt. Washington
- 4 cm (1.5") - Manning Park
- 2 cm (1") - Revelstoke
- 1 cm (0.5") - Powder King
Forecast for Friday to Friday Night:
A storm will continue to impact Southern BC to some extent on Friday with the center of the storm passing well south of the US border. Energy and moisture will be rather disorganized across Southern BC as an area of low pressure tracks across the Interior from southwest to northeast with weak and variable winds rotating around the low.
Disorganized energy around this feature combined with an unstable atmosphere will result in snow showers throughout Southern BC on Friday and Friday night, but snow showers will be variable and spotty in coverage. Many areas of Eastern BC that I forecasted higher totals in my last post are looking much lighter at this point, unless a heavier band of snow happens to set up over an area for an extended period of time.
Generally speaking, most areas will receive anywhere from 1-10 cm (0.5-4") of snow, but isolated higher totals will be possible under localized heavy snow bands, while it's also possible that some areas could miss out entirely.
Here is how things are generally expected to look, per the high-resolution Canadian Model:
Snow levels on Friday will range from 300-600 meters (1-2k feet) across the Coast Range and Okanagan region and 600-900 meters (2-3k feet) across the Powder Highway, before falling to 150-450 meters (500-1,500 feet) in all areas on Friday night.
Across Northern BC, areas from Shames Mountain to Powder King will be right on the edge and will only see some light flurries with minimal accumulations expected.
Forecast for Saturday to Monday:
A low pressure system will linger just south of the border during this period with enough moisture and instability remaining across Southern BC to result in off-and-on snow showers each day across Southern BC with flurries at best across Northern BC.
Snow totals each day will generally range from zero to 10 cm (trace-4") across Southern BC. The only exception is Monday across the Coast Range when conditions should largely begin to dry out, while snow shower activity will persist across the Interior.
Snow showers will be possible at all hours of the day but will be most common during the afternoon hours when instability is greater (sun heating the lower atmosphere while the air aloft remains very cold).
Snow levels will generally range from 150-600 meters (500-2,000 feet) across the Coast Range and Okanagan region, and 150-900 meters (500-3,000 feet) across the Interior, with peak snow levels occuring during the afternoon hours.
We will head into a dry pattern from about Tuesday (March 28) through Thursday (March 30) as the next storm makes landfall in California and misses BC well to the south.
Dry and sunny conditions can be expected during this period. Temperatures will be colder than average, however, with highs near freezing at mid-mountain elevations across the Interior and in the 2 to 5ºC range across the Coast Range.
Late next week, around Friday (March 31) and Saturday (April 1), a cold storm is projected to arrive from the northwest, resulting in a chance of snow across all major regions of BC. Snow levels should also be on the lower side.
As we head into the first week of April, long-range models are in relatively good agreement in projecting an active pattern along with below-average temperatures.
Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Sunday (March 26).