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Shift into winter: Snow, wind warnings issued for most of Vancouver Island

Work-related crashes are the leading cause of traumatic workplace deaths in the in B.C.
Snow falling on Highway 1 at Malahat Summit in 2020.Winter driving conditions are on the way with snow and wind forecast for south, inland, east and north Vancouver Island from Tuesday morning through Wednesday (Nov. 30). (DriveBC/File)

Vancouver Island residents should expect wintry conditions Tuesday with wind and snow warnings issued for most of the Island.

Environment Canada added a wind warning early on Nov. 29 alongside its previous alert to prepare for snow.

Snow is expected on the Malahat starting late Tuesday morning, changing to snow and rain near midnight. Steady precipitation is expected to again transition to flurries on Wednesday (Nov. 30) bringing 2 to 4 cm of snow.

Snowfall is expected across Greater Victoria with east, inland and north Vancouver Island bearing the brunt of the storm as a low pressure system approaches Tuesday morning. Heavy snow, 15 to 25 cm, is expected over inland Vancouver Island and north of Courtenay. Some areas will ease into flurries Wednesday.

The advance warning prompted the Shift into Winter Campaign to issue a heads-up to drivers.

“Winter weather and road conditions push our driving skills to the limit,” spokesperson Trace Acres said in a news release.

RELATED: Drivers urged to ‘Shift into Winter’ when heading out on B.C. roads

For those who drive for work, being behind the wheel may be the most dangerous part of their job. Work-related crashes are the leading cause of traumatic workplace deaths in B.C.

Winter increases the risks for all drivers. Hard-packed snow can be as slippery as ice, making it hard to steer and stop. Wet snow can turn to slush that builds up in the wheel wells and affects steering. Slush and spray from other vehicles can cause sudden loss of visibility. Icy conditions can make it difficult to steer and stop.

“The critical zone for driving safety in cold weather falls between 5C to -5C so keep an eye on the thermometer before heading out. You have to watch out for yourself and for others sliding into your path,” Acres said.

Four matched winter tires in good condition provide better traction and stopping than other tires at temperatures below 7C, the campaign advises. They’re also required on many B.C. highways – including the Malahat – until the end of winter and must have a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm.

With 10 cm of snow predicted along with wind, Environment Canada warns heavy snow will result in slippery roads and dangerous driving conditions on the Malahat.


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About the Author: Oak Bay News Staff

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