Winter storm and avalanche warning in effect for the Elk Valley

Environment Canada meteorologists are warning residents of winds speeds reaching up to 70 km/h through the valleys.

A winter storm warning is currently in effect for the Elk Valley. Environment Canada meteorologists are warning residents of winds speeds reaching up to 70 km/h through the valleys, accompanied with heavy snow that will result in poor visibilities. Up to 30 centimeters of snow is also expected to rapidly accumulate tonight. Environment Canada, however, predicts that snowfall to ease up by Saturday morning.

As a result of these hazardous winter conditions, Environment Canada is encouraging drivers to postpone non-essential travel until conditions improve, and to prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions if you are unable to postpone travelling. Updates will be available on https://weather.gc.ca/

Along with rapid winds and heavy snowfall, Avalanche Canada has issued a special public avalanche warning for the mountains of B.C.’s interior, including the North Rockies, Cariboos, North Columbia, South Columbia, Purcells, Kootenay Boundary, South Rockies and Lizard Range and Flathead. The warning is effect from Friday, November 28 to Monday, December 1 and applies to recreational backcountry users.

The avalanche warning, which is classified as a high avalanche danger rating, is the result of heavy snow, strong winds and warm temperatures this past week.

“The slow start to the winter, with cold temperatures and low snowfall, gave us a weak snowpack,” Avalanche Canada Public Avalanche Forecaster Joe Lammers said in a press release on Thursday, November 27. “Now we’ve finally had a good storm and people are ready to ride. But all that new snow fell on a relatively fragile structure. It is essential to take things slow and exercise cautious decision making.”

Avalanche Canada is recommending all backcountry users stick to simple, low-angle terrain, avoid big, steep slopes, minimize exposure to overhead hazards and re-group in safe zones away from avalanche run-outs.

For more information visit www.avalanche.ca