Snowstorm Update

Yes, #snOMG is a real possibility.

Snow is still in the forecast for most of you as of now, with increased confidence with regards to snowfall amounts.

Projected 24 hour snowfall amounts using a variety of model guidence and methods.

Vancouver Island

 LAM-WEST high resolution Canadian weather model's predicted snowfall amounts

LAM-WEST high resolution Canadian weather model's predicted snowfall amounts

Campbell River: 10-15 cm

Comox: 5-10 cm

Port Alberni: 5-10 cm

Nanaimo: 5-8 cm

Victoria: 2-5 cm (10+ Malahat)

Lower Mainland 

Vancouver: 5-15 cm

North Vancouver: 10-15 cm

YVR: 5-8 cm

Abbotsford: 5-10 cm 

snow forecasts are extremely challenging, for a number of reasons. I'll highlight a couple.

1) Snow forecasts are very sensitive to precipitation amounts. For example, you would have a tough time perceiving the difference between 5 mm and 10 mm of rain, but these precipitation amounts can easily turn a mundane 5 cm into a more treacherous and significant 10 cm snowfall event, depending on snow density

  • In other words, getting the precipitation amounts exactly right is near impossible. That's why you often see such a range when it comes to forecasted snowfall 
  • Snow varies in density, so 10:1 may not be the ideal snow ratio

2) Temperatures are often very close to freezing (and often slightly above) with our typical snowfall events

  • Very critical with snowfall forecasting. Then there's evaporation and cooling processes that can drop the temperture close to freezing, even if precipitation starts when it's 2 or 3 degrees outside.
  Weather Prediction Center Probabilistic Winter Precipitation Guidence Map

Weather Prediction Center Probabilistic Winter Precipitation Guidence Map

Expected probabilities of a major snowfall event (greater than 10 cm), using the map above for some guidence:

Lower Mainland

YVR: 10-20%

Vancouver: 20-30%

North Shore: 40-50%

Abbotsford: 40-50%

Vancouver Island

Victoria: ~0%

Nanaimo: 10-20%

Port Alberni: 30-40%

Comox: 40-50%

Campbell River: 70-80%

So my strategy this for this winter is to give you the facts. No hype. Just facts. 

I'm reaching out to my readers to help keep track of snowfall amounts for the south coast. So all you need is a ruler to participate!

Comment below to record your snowfall amounts.

It's your turn to be a meteorologist.

Do you agree with my anticipated snowfall amounts? Discuss below! I'm interested in creating a safe and inclusive online weather community where Vancouverites can passionately talk about their weather.

Share this post with your social media to help create this community. It has potential. 

Stay safe, and if conditions deteriote on the roads, only travel if absolutely neccessary. it's not worth it otherwise.