Environment Canada is warning of notable snowfall and strong winds in parts of eastern Vancouver Island Dec. 17-18. Pictured here, a scene from Nanaimo from earlier in December. (News Bulletin file)

Environment Canada is warning of notable snowfall and strong winds in parts of eastern Vancouver Island Dec. 17-18. Pictured here, a scene from Nanaimo from earlier in December. (News Bulletin file)

Environment Canada warns of strong winds, snow for east Island

Snowfall of 10 cm Duncan to Campbell River, with winds from 70-90 km/h in the northern portion

Environment Canada is advising people on the eastern part of Vancouver Island to be prepared for snow and strong winds.

In a snowfall warning issued this morning, Dec. 17, Environment Canada said the Duncan to Nanaimo, Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay and Courtenay to Campbell River areas are forecast to see snowfall totalling 10 centimetres, with snowfall expected over higher terrain tonight and into early Saturday morning.

“A strong Pacific frontal system will move onto the B.C. south coast tonight bringing a wintry mixture of precipitation to much of the region,” Environment Canada said. “Temperatures will be cold enough to keep snow levels mainly between 200 and 300 metres, however the heavy precipitation may allow the snow levels to lower briefly closer to sea level. As a result snowfall accumulations will range from two cm near sea level to near 10 cm over higher terrain.

“Warmer air pushes in later on Saturday morning and allows the snow over higher terrain to change to rain.”

In addition, Environment Canada warned of strong winds from Nanoose to Fanny Bay and also from Courtenay to Campbell River and Sunshine Coast on Saturday morning, easing by midday.

Winds of 70, gusting to 90 kilometres an hour are forecast. Strong winds coupled with the snow “is expected to cause local blowing snow” and hamper visibility in inland areas of the aforementioned areas, Environment Canada said.

For other weather warnings, go to www.weather.gc.ca/warnings/index_e.html.

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