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Snow, rain and wind in weekend forecast for Vancouver Island

Feb 24 2012

Up to five centimetres of snow is expected to fall on higher elevations of eastern Vancouver Island — including Nanaimo and Victoria — this morning.

A wind and snowfall warning has been posted by Environment Canada this morning for Nanaimo.

A wind warning is also in effect for Greater Victoria, with rain at sea level and the possibility of up to four centimeters of snow at higher elevations.

The wintery weather comes from a low pressure system which hit the coast overnight. Snow is expected to change to rain by noon.

Victoria residents who have been smug about the region’s spring-like climes might want to be more modest over the weekend as Environment Canada says there’s 30 per cent chance of rain showers or flurries early Saturday.

That likelihood rises to 60 per cent late in the afternoon and in the evening. Wind from the west will hit 70 km/h gusting to 90 km/h and then diminish by late morning as the low pressure system continues to move eastward. . A high of plus 5 is forecast.

In Nanaimo, where up to 5 centimetres of snow is expected to fall at higher elevations Friday, has snow in its forecast through until Tuesday.

Friday’s snow is expected to turn to rain by noon, however, high winds up to 70 km/h — diminishing to 30 to 50 late this afternoon — are also predicted.

There’s a 30 per cent chance of flurries or rain showers tonight and tomorrow in Nanaimo, rising to a 40 per cent chance of flurries on Sunday. A high of 3 is forecast for Sunday.

Southeast winds up to 70 km/h are predicted over the entire Sunshine Coast and East Vancouver Island this morning.

According to Environment Canada, a low pressure system currently over the B.C. coast will spread rain — at sea level — and up to 2 cm of snow — at higher elevations over much of the Inner South coast Friday.

Higher elevations and inland areas will see heavier snow with up to 5 cm expected this morning.

Despite above freezing temperatures, total snowfall accumulations of 15 centimetres are expected for inland sections of the central coast and Whistler Friday

The snow is expected to change to rain before noon over the central coast, and taper off over Whistler tonight.

At the same time, the system is spreading southeasterly winds up to 70 km/h over East Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast. The winds are expected to ease late this afternoon as the system moves inland, according to Environment Canada.