Heavy snowfall and icy roads have made highway travel a challenge in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area. (Michael Briones photo)

Heavy snowfall and icy roads have made highway travel a challenge in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area. (Michael Briones photo)

Please just don’t drive, Environment Canada begs Greater Victoria drivers

Environment Canada issues warning about freezing rain

Please stay off the roads.

Like really stay off the roads.

Drivers are being advised to avoid unnecessary travel in Greater Victoria and beyod starting Thursday evening, and into Friday and Saturday, as Environment Canada is warning that snowfall switching to freezing rain and rain is expected to create adverse driving conditions.

As much as 20 centimetres of snow is predicted in spots overnight Thursday, with temperatures near freezing causing ice pellets, and then as much as 10 millimetres of freezing rain for a significant time before switching to rain, creating ice glaze on top of the snow. Affected areas include Highway 1 over the Malahat, the Alberni summit on Highway 4, and other parts of Vancouver Island.

Starting at 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, the Province’s commercial vehicle chain-up rules are being strictly enforced for vehicles travelling Highway 1 over the Malahat.

To ensure compliance with provincial regulations, the ministry’s Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) staff will be checking commercial vehicles northbound on Highway 1 entering the Malahat at West Shore Parkway, and vehicles southbound on Highway 1 at Bamberton Interchange. Vehicles not in compliance will be turned away.

In a winter storm watch alert, Environment Canada is advising that local and heavy blowing snow is possible with strong easterly winds, resulting in sudden near-zero visibility. There may be a significant effect on rush hour, and walkways and parking lots may also become icy and slippery.

With rising temperatures and steady, heavy rain on Saturday, combined with possible rapid snowmelt, drivers who must travel should watch for water pooling on roadways and drive according to the conditions.

SnowWeather

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