The year 2021 is going out with a bang – at least in the weather department – for the Bella Coola Valley.
The communities of Bella Bella, Bella Coola, Hagensborg and areas in between are expected to see between 30 and 50 cm of snow starting on New Year’s Eve.
Currently the area is under a winter storm warning. AnArctic outflow warning ended at noon Friday.
Temperatures were bitterly cold and well below average for this time of year in the valley at about -12C Friday but are expected to warm up for the weekend. The bitter cold is expected to return again mid-week.
Snow should start falling sometime overnight.
“A strong storm system intensifying over the Gulf of Alaska will cross the central coast on Saturday. Heavy snow is expected, with 30 to 50 cm of snowfall accumulation for inland areas. Locations near the immediate coast will warm sufficiently with increasing southerly winds that wet snow mixed with rain is likely. Snowfall accumulations along the coast should be far less than what is expected inland,” notes Environment Canada.
Over the exposed coastal areas, winds will increase to southerly 90 km/h gusting to 110 on Saturday.
Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow. Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow.
The Central Coast has already seen its fair share of cold and snow this winter, with cold weather records being broken over the holidays.