FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A high-risk avalanche warning has been issued for the Northern Rockies due to the heavy snowfall expected in the Peace region.

Beginning this evening, the region is expected to see 15 to 20 cm of snowfall by Friday.

Brian Proctor, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, says a warm front from the Pacific is pushing moisture across the central interior of B.C., which is increasing the amount of snow moving into the Northern Rockies.

“We’re seeing pressure falls, which is aligning the winds on the east side of the Rockies to switch into an upslope flow component. So that’s really allowing the moisture pile into the Northern Rockies and increase the snowpack in those areas,” Proctor explained.

Proctor says the fresh snow falling on the existing frosty layer of the snowpack, combined with the cold air in the area will cause the slabs of snow to become more unstable in the next 24 to 48 hours.

“By Saturday afternoon we’re going to be looking at freezing levels around 1300 metres and starting to go up. So that’s going to destabilize things even more by melting some of that snow pack moving into the weekend. So it’s going to be a messy weekend,” Proctor said.

To keep up to date on avalanche warnings, visit the Avalanche Canada forecast map