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'Nearly 100 per cent chance' Vancouver will see a white Christmas

It's looking like you won't have to dream it this year

2021 has been full of unheard-of weather events in and around Vancouver, and it looks like there's one more rare moment in the stocking.

Odds are good, very good, that it'll be a white Christmas in Vancouver this year.

"It's very likely, it's nearly 100 per cent chance we'll have a white Christmas this year for Metro Vancouver," says Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist.

While December is the coldest month of the year in Vancouver, that doesn't often translate to snow on the ground on Dec. 25, but thanks to some Arctic and Pacific air meeting in the area for the next few days, it's almost certain snow will fall, and stay, for Christmas Day.

"All week it'll be this clash over the Lower Mainland," says Lundquist. "By Christmas the arctic air gets deeper."

Currently, the forecast is calling for temperatures to drop to -4 C on Christmas Eve, with snow falling, and we might not see temperatures above freezing until Dec. 27.

Lundquist notes that Vancouver often sees this happen this time of year, but it only settles in for a few days. This year it just happens to fall on the right days.

"The coldest days are looking like Christmas Day into Boxing Day and then it warms up a little bit as early as the day after Boxing Day and then it depends on the computer model," he says.

While the models are making it look very likely Vancouver will see a white Christmas, the one uncertainty is precipitation. It appears that there will be a system in place to drop snow on the city, but meteorologists are still trying to work how much water may fall Tuesday, Dec. 21, and Wednesday Dec. 22; beyond that it's more uncertain, though the pieces should be in place.

This all lines up to create a winter wonderland for those staying in their homes on Dec. 25, but Lundquist notes it'll also wreak havoc on the streets in the city, and could cause real problems for anyone travelling on the highways.

"Highway 3 and 99 into the interior, which are scary at the best of times in the winter, are opening just as the storm hits," Lundquist says. "We're worried about their (travellers) safety."

He's reminding people to check DriveBC, plan for the conditions and dress warm.

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