PHOTOS: Hefty snow unleashed on B.C. South Coast, travel hindered

PHOTOS: Hefty snow unleashed on B.C. South Coast, travel hindered
PHOTOS: Hefty snow unleashed on B.C. South Coast, travel hindered

The first major snowfall of the season arrived in full force for British Columbia's Lower Mainland this week.

A low-pressure system interacting with an Arctic outflow was the cause for multiple winter storm and snowfall warnings that were issued across the South Coast on Tuesday. By the early morning hours on Wednesday, between 10-20 cm had been reported across the Lower Mainland, with multiple reports of 15 to 25 cm for eastern Vancouver Island.

Visit our Complete Guide to Winter 2022/23 for an in-depth look at the Winter Forecast, tips to plan for it, and much more!

According to BC Hydro, more than 30,000 customers were left without power Tuesday night as the snow and winds picked up, weighing down trees and ultimately taking out power lines. Strong winds resulted in BC Ferries announcing a number of sailing cancellations Tuesday afternoon, as well.

The system has greatly impacted driving conditions, with motorists urged to expect delays or consider alternate routes. By late Tuesday afternoon, travel advisories were in effect for many of the province's highways. Winter storm warnings were also issued for highway routes including the Sea to Sky, the Coquihalla and the Okanagan Connector, with strong winds and heavy snow creating near-zero visibility at times. The Alex Fraser Bridge was closed in both directions for several hours on Tuesday evening as well.

WATCH: B.C. resident shows highway at a standstill after snowstorm

Click here to view the video

Snowfall rates will begin to ease from west to east across the southern half of the province through the day on Wednesday, with most of the snow finished by the late afternoon and early evening hours. More snow is forecast Friday into Saturday morning, but accumulations will be minimal in comparison to this most recent blast.

Here's a closer look at the impacts from this first major snowstorm across southern B.C.:

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Thumbnail image courtesy: Adam Sobkow, taken in Langford, B.C.