Environment Canada says upcoming days will be messy, following a huge dump of snow across the Capital Region.
Between 20 and 30 centimetres fell on Greater Victoria between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, with numbers as high as 36 cm in the Cowichan Valley. A total of 19 cm fell on the area since midnight, making it the largest snowfall in Victoria on Jan. 15 since 1971, when 9.9 cm fell.
Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan said that a small amount of snow, maybe one to two centimetres, may still fall Wednesday morning, before shifting to rain in the afternoon or evening.
“It’s likely a few hours because there’s a lot of cold and thermal mass that’s blanketed the whole area, but probably by 7 or 8 p.m. it will be rain only,” he said.
But higher elevations may continue to see snow instead of rain.
Along with the rain will come high winds; a wind warning has been issued for south east Vancouver Island, which could see up to 90 km/h winds.
“There will be very strong south-east winds picking up anywhere near Haro Strait,” Castellan said. “This includes Sooke and areas facing the Juan de Fuca Strait.”
So far, there are already 50 km winds near the San Juan Islands, and hurricane-force winds predicted for Howe Sound.
Castellan warned the combination of wind, snow and rain could cause problems for transportation.
“The winds will likely have impacts to ferry service,” he said. “As well, there will be poor visibility on the highways when the wind picks up because there is a lot of fluffy snow on the roads.”
A large amount of rain is predicted for the weekend, something that could also cause issues.
“Rain on snow spells trouble because all the municipal drains will be clogged, so rain will cause localized flooding,” Castellan warned.