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Freezing rain alert for Fraser Valley, Coquihalla, with heavy snow in storm forecast Tuesday

Total snowfall up to 25 cm in higher elevations, freezing rain overnight across FV, Coq, and Hwy 3
Freezing rain and heavy snow in winter storm forecast Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. (News Bulletin file photo)

The winter storm descending on the Fraser Valley and area highways starting Tuesday afternoon (Dec. 21) is bringing hazardous conditions with heavy snow and prolonged freezing rain.

A freezing rain alert was issued before 6 a.m. Tuesday from Environment Canada, in addition to calling for heavy snow from the winter storm system moving in.

“Frigid outflow winds pouring out of the B.C. interior will allow surface temperatures to remain below freezing. As a result a prolonged period of freezing rain is forecast.”

Ice buildup could make roads, walkways and parking lots slippery and snap tree branches.

Adverse weather conditions are likely to persist across the Eastern Fraser Valley from Abbotsford to Hope, until Wednesday.

The winter storm system is bringing heavy snow Tuesday afternoon and evening, in the Eastern Fraser Valley including Hope, as well as the Coquihalla, and Highway 3, Hope to Princeton. Total snowfall of near 25 cm is expected by Wednesday morning, when it will start to ease up as the system moves out of the region.

“Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve.”

Surface temperatures will rise overnight, allowing for the freezing rain to transition to rain by Wednesday morning.

In terms of the Coquihalla Highway - Hope to Merritt, and Highway 3 - Hope to Princeton via Allison Pass, the highway alert notes hazardous winter conditions are expected starting Tuesday night, to Thursday because of the potential for significant snow accumulation and freezing rain.

A significant amount of snow across higher elevation passes is expected.

“Snow, at times heavy, will impact travel conditions through to Thursday,” according to the forecast.

Snowfall amounts will vary widely, between 25 and 40 cm for the Coquihalla, and from 10 to 20 cm for Highway 3.

In addition, there is a risk of freezing rain on Wednesday from Hope to the Coquihalla Summit, as well as Highway 3 - Hope to Princeton via Allison Pass.

For all regions the advisory was the same: “Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow. Poor weather conditions may contribute to transportation delays.”

Road conditions are available at

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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