Weather roundup: Watch for ice; snowfall, wind warnings for most of Island

The latest

Another day, another warning from Environment Canada. Snowfall warnings were in effect for east and inland Vancouver Island on Friday morning, while the north and west were subject to a wind warning. As of 7 a.m., no alerts were in place for Greater Victoria or the Southern Gulf Islands.

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It's freezing out there, and that means roads and sidewalks could be icy.

Speaking of road conditions, being from Alaska won't get you off the hook if you're speeding in the snow.

And here's some validation for drivers: The snow on the Island really is harder to drive in.

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B.C. Ferries is also experiencing icy conditions this morning. It has cancelled some trips on the mid-coast already today due to ice and snow build up on the MV Nimpkish. See the B.C. Ferries service notices page for more information.

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For those who still have enough snow for sledding, a word of warning. Police were cautioning tobogganers to be careful about where they're sliding after a boy slid onto the road and under an SUV, becoming briefly trapped.

Schools

Schools are open in the Greater Victoria, Saanich and Sooke districts. Classes are also in session in Campbell River, Nanaimo-Ladysmith and the Cowichan Valley.

Students in the Comox Valley get another day off, though:

Schools in Vancouver Island North are closed as well.

Post-secondary schools

The University of Victoria, Camosun College, Royal Roads University and Vancouver Island University are open Friday.

Weather

Snowfall warnings were in effect for east and inland Vancouver Island on Friday morning, while the north and west were subject to a wind warning. As of 7 a.m., no alerts were in place for Greater Victoria or the Southern Gulf Islands. You can see the alerts page here.

An approaching Pacific storm will bring heavy snow and strong winds to the Island beginning tonight. For the east and inland portions, that could mean up to 15 centimetres of snow. 

As warmer air associated with the storm penetrates the region overnight, snow will begin to transition to rain over areas adjacent to the Strait of Georgia. Inland communities will receive the heaviest amounts as snow continues through Saturday morning.

Southeast winds of up to 80 kilometres an hour are expected.

The cold won't last forever, of course. And if it rains in Greater Victoria as forecast, that could mean possible flooding. Residents are being asked to keep culverts and storm drains to clear to help the water drain.

Roads

Drive B.C. is reporting black ice on the Trans-Canada Highway between Chemainus and Saanich, on Highway 14 between Metchosin and Langford, and on Highway 17 between the Swartz Bay ferry terminal and Tolmie Avenue in Saanich. There are slippery sections on most Island highways, so those on the road should take care.

Drivers were being encouraged to check conditions before heading out. Drive B.C.'s website lists conditions and incidents. You can also check Drive B.C. Vancouver Island on Twitter, along with the accounts of Emcon and Mainroad, which maintain roads on the Island.

Transit

B.C. Transit is warning of possible detours and delays in Greater Victoria, and some detours are already in effect in Nanaimo:

The Cowichan Valley is on winter routing:

For more information, go to bctransit.com.

Ferries

B.C. Ferries cancelled several sailings on Wednesday due to forecast high winds. See its travel advisories page here.

Check B.C. Ferries' travel advisory page for more information.

Hydro

There were only a few outages Friday morning, but high winds could lead to downed trees and outages later in the day. Check the outage map for the most up-to-date information.

Sunday's windstorm caused 51 outages affecting more than 20,000 Island customers on Sunday morning. Almost all — more than 18,000 — were on northern Vancouver Island. Another 10,000 were affected Thursday, again mostly in the norht. B.C. Hydro has been urging people to prepare in case the power goes out.

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