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Snowfall Alert for Highway 3 Paulson Summit, Kootenay Pass

Environment Canada is calling for between 10-15 cms for Kootenay Pass Saturday. — DriveBC photo

Anyone planning to travel highway passes in the Kootenay/Boundary region has better be prepared for winter driving.

Environment Canada has issued a Snowfall Alert for Highway 3 from Christina Lake to Creston, including the Paulson and Kootenay Pass highways.

Environment Canada said a long period of snowfall, with total amounts of 20 to 30 cm is expected due to a frontal system is spreading precipitation to southern BC today.

"(At least) 10 - 15 cm of snow has fallen last night over the Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Merritt, Allison Pass as well as Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass," the Alert said.

"Snow levels have risen overnight and snow has changed to rain near the summits this morning."

DriveBC is advising the public of slippery, slushy roads and compact snow at higher elevations.

Environment Canada said this precipitation will change over to rain for a brief period and snow levels will once again fall during the day, bringing snow back to these high elevation passes with further snowfall amounts of 10 - 15 cm are possible.

"Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. Poor weather conditions may contribute to transportation delays."

For information on emergency plans and kits go to this link.

Weather in the mountains can change suddenly resulting in hazardous driving conditions.

Old Man Winter not done just yet

It appears Old Man Winter is not quite ready to retire for the season as Environment Canada has issued a Snowfall warning for highway passes in the southern interior.

Environment Canada said a strong frontal system is approaching BC from the southwest and will begin to spread precipitation to southern BC Friday afternoon.

"From this afternoon through to early Saturday morning, 15 cm of snowfall accumulation is expected to fall over the Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Merritt, the Allison Pass as well as Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass," Environment Canada said.

"Snow levels will rise significantly by early Saturday morning, and all precipitation will switch over to rain at that time."

This weather pattern will change to rain for a brief period before snow levels once again fall later Saturday morning, bringing snow back to these high elevation passes.

People driving interior highways should be prepared to adjust driving with changing road conditions and prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions.

"Weather in the mountains can change suddenly resulting in hazardous driving conditions."

ShiftIntoWinter.ca reminds drivers to know before you go. Adjust to winter driving behaviour and use winter tires and chains.

Road conditions are available at DriveBC.