Conversational Snow


Wet snow.


Ice Pellets.

Freezing Rain.

All these forms of precipitation can be found within a couple hundred km's of the lower mainland during the next 48 hours. Where you live will depend a lot on how much snow you end up getting.

I like the look of of NOAA's probabilistic approach with the GFS, shows it the probability of a 2 inches (5 cm) or more the next two days. I chose 5 cm because it's the threshold where it starts to cause transportation issues around this snow sensitive region.

So many factors are hindering a severe snowstorm the next couple of days, such as the track of the approaching low and warm front, and timing of the storm. The low is tracking too much in a WSW fashion, where the majority of our big snow events drop down from the gulf of Alaska, limiting the warm air advection. Cloud cover moved in earlier than expected in the southern half of Vancouver Island. In these situations every hour of clear sky that allows radiational cooling is extremely important in setting up a possible snow event in the Lower Mainland.  

It's just that tough to get a big snowfall around here. Many factors need to align in our favour. 

The air is also extremely dry, and evaporation may prevent a lot of the precipitation from reaching the ground as well.

    This map looks very reasonable to me, with regions along the Georgia strait and Juan De Fuca getting a trace or less. 


This map looks very reasonable to me, with regions along the Georgia strait and Juan De Fuca getting a trace or less. 

Tentative snowfall amounts:

Vancouver Island

Campbell River: 

  • 5-8 cm


  • 2-8 cm

Port Alberni:

  • 5-10 cm
  • Freezing Rain Possible


  • 0-2 cm


  • 0-5 cm (Malahat)

Lower Mainland


  • Trace- 2 cm

West Van:

  • 2-5 cm

North Shore

  • 3-5 cm


  • 3-5 cm
  • Freezing Rain Possible

Alrighty, pretty underwhelming for those wanting more snow. 

I'll update tomorrow, as needed and look at a couple radiosonde charts and Skew-T/Log P forecasts to analysis our risk for freezing rain in the coming 48 hours. It's likely that a few places listed above will see a few mm of freezing precipitation before surface temps rise above zero late Monday evening. 

These snow amounts may be adjusted tomorrow, if I think it's needed. We'll have to play this one by ear. It's a very tricky, and these snowfall forecasts have a higher than normal bust potential.

I'm sure they're be a surprise or two.