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Winter is coming! Possible flurries forecast for North Shore

Snow is possible at higher elevations of the North Shore overnight Thursday and again overnight on Monday and Tuesday
Snow on the NS traffic 03
Snow is possible at higher elevations overnight Thursday and again on Monday and Tuesday next week.

Winter is coming.

That means rain, an “atmospheric river” and even the possibility of snow flurries over higher elevations on the North Shore over the next few days.

First the atmospheric river that started Thursday is expected to dump between 50 and 70 millimetres on North and West Vancouver before tapering off on Friday.

But some cold air thrown into the mix presents the possibility of that rain falling as wet snow at higher elevations overnight Thursday, said Alyssa Charbonneau, meteorologist with Environment Canada. “It’s something to be aware of if you’re on the roads,” she said.

A snowfall warning, with the possibility of 15 to 20 centimetres, was also in effect for the Sea-to-Sky Highway between Squamish and Whistler on Thursday.

Up on the North Shore ski hills, rain was falling as light snow on Thursday afternoon.

But the cool air will warm up Friday very quickly, said Charbonneau, so any snow that falls won’t last.

Beginning towards the end of the weekend, however, the weather pattern turns cold again, with the possibility of hitting freezing overnight for the first time this fall.

That cooler weather could again bring the possibility of snow to the North Shore on Monday and Tuesday overnight next week, said Charbonneau, particularly at higher elevations.

“This is our first taste of winter,” she said.

Meteorologists are predicting a La Nina winter for the South Coast of B.C. this year, the third one in a row, which is expected to bring cooler weather and usually means a higher possibility of snow for the North Shore.

The weather pattern is an abrupt change from the warm, dry weather earlier this fall.

The mean temperature for West Vancouver for October was 14 degrees, said Charbonneau – the warmest since the weather station started keeping records in 1976. Previously, the warmest October on the North Shore was in 2014 when the mean temperature was 13.4 degrees.

Many communities in B.C. recorded either the warmest or second-warmest October on record this year, she added.

Rain that ended the drought in the last 10 days of October meant total rainfall for the month was 185.7 mm. That’s less than the normal 237 mm but far from the driest. That was recorded in 2002 when the North Shore received just 23.4 mm of rain in October.