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Heavy snow on Lower Mainland, bitter cold in northwest, central B.C.: weather alert

Environment Canada warning of dangerous driving conditions along Coquihalla Highway
Vehicles are seen as they drive along the Coquihalla Highway Wednesday, January 19, 2022. Environment Canada is warning of heavy snow on the Coquihalla Highway and bitterly cold temperatures in British Columbia’s northwest as arctic air sweeps across the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

An arctic outflow is bringing another snowy storm to the Lower Mainland, while frostbite warnings are in effect for central and northwestern B.C.

Environment Canada is forecasting up to 10 centimetres in Metro Vancouver and up to 20 centimetres for the Fraser Valley and Howe Sound.

It warns of dangerous conditions on the Coquihalla Highway with no visibility at times due to heavy and blowing snow.

The weather agency warns of bitterly cold temperatures along the central and northern coasts and stretching inland to include communities like Kitimat, Stewart and Terrace.

Powerful coastal winds gusting near 80 km/h will combine with low temperatures in some regions to push wind chills down near -20 C.

Environment Canada says the cold will continue through Wednesday.

“If outside, dress warmly in layers and stay dry. Cover as much exposed skin as possible to avoid frostbite,” it says.

TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s transit authority, said Saturday it was preparing for traffic interference by calling in extra staff and getting ready to cut ice off trolley wires and put tire socks on some buses.

A snowstorm early this month stranded commuters in Metro Vancouver on roads for up to 12 hours.

In a letter to Transportation Minister Rob Fleming days after the storm, Delta Mayor George Harvie called the B.C. government to review its snow removal contracts and consider using its emergency alert system to better inform drivers of dangerous road conditions.

The Transportation Ministry said it was reviewing the response to determine if there were additional measures that could be taken in future weather events.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Rare thundersnow recorded as winter storm hits Lower Mainland once again

The Canadian Press