Back to top

UPDATED: Environment Canada continues Special Weather Statement for Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass

It's September, but that's snow on the side of the highway at Kootenay Pass summit Wednesday afternoon. — Photo courtesy DriveBC

Environment Canada issued a Special Weather Statement Thursday morning for Highway 3, Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass due to a cold airmass associated with an upper low has caused freezing levels to plummet this week.

"Snow has been observed on the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass, Paulson Summit and Kootenay Pass on several mornings this past week," the Statement said.

"With the cold air mass remaining in place, the threat of snow will continue early this morning."

Environment Canada said the unstable nature of the airmass makes the timing and location of snowfall uncertain, however, significant accumulations are most likely over Kootenay Pass and Pennask Summit.

"Weather in the mountains can change suddenly resulting in hazardous driving conditions."

YRB sends out High Elevation Winter Weather Advisory

Winter raised its ugly head on highway passes Wednesday forcing Yellowhead Road and Bridge to send out a warning to drivers travelling on Highway 3 Kootenay Pass.

“Although the valleys are experiencing beautiful fall weather there is a special weather statement for Kootenay Pass overnight tonight and through to mid-day tomorrow,” Marc Dale of YRB said in a media release Wednesday.

“Temperatures will drop below freezing due to a unstable cold air mass which will bring us snow accumulations of 4 – 10 cm starting at 1300 meters.”

Dale said the majority of snow fall will begin late this afternoon through to midnight. However, snow fall will continue all night.

 “YRB has scheduled resources to be on Kootenay Pass through the night sanding, plowing , patrolling, monitoring weather,” he said.

“We are early in the winter shoulder season and installing winter tires is typically closer to winter than the third week of September so please be aware that winter driving conditions will be in effect over Kootenay Pass.”

Dale said drivers should use extreme caution and be aware of changing conditions and temperatures as you travel through the higher elevations.

 Road condition updates are on www.drivebc.ca

Overhead signs will be updated to reflect conditions ahead on both sides of the Pass.

“Drive safe, give yourself extra time if you need to travel over the Pass tonight or early morning Thursday.”