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Wet snow in forecast for much of North Island

– Files from James Wood

VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C – More snow could be coming to Powell River and the North Island.

According to the forecasts from Environment Canada for tonight and Friday, around four centimetres of wet snow is expected for higher terrain from Port Hardy down to the Comox Valley both tonight and tomorrow morning.

Rainfall of 10 to 15 millimetres is also expected, as well as wind over exposed coastal sections.

Environment Canada meteorologist Bobby Sekhon said the next Pacific system is expected to roll through the region late tonight, bringing with it precipitation around midnight.

Freezing levels look to be around 400 to 500 metres above sea level, meaning wet snow falling on higher terrain is a distinct possibility.

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“We’re looking at upwards of five-to-10 centimetres of snowfall by Friday afternoon, around the Courtenay/Comox area,” Sekhon said.

However, Comox is unlikely to see snow because it is so close to sea level.

But in higher elevations, there will likely be some wet snow falling, according to Sekhon.

Campbell River could also see a few centimetres of the white stuff.

“They are a little further north and even though their elevation is right around 100 metres, wet snow is quite possible, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few centimetres of wet snow falling there,” Sekhon said.

Alpine areas such as Mount Washington should see a fair amount of snow as the system moves through.

Over in Powell River, periods of rain are expected near midnight, with wet snow over higher terrain overnight. The total amount expected is two centimetres, with winds over exposed coastal sections on Friday.

Looking past Sunday, an expected ridge of high pressure will likely bring drier conditions into the new year.

Temperature-wise, it should be right around normal for the region, with highs of roughly six degrees Celcius.

It could be a chilly New Year’s Day, however, with a forecast high of three degrees Celcius.

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