Winter storm, snowfall warnings in place for multiple mountain highway passes in southern B.C.

Drivers travelling along mountain highway passes in southern B.C. were warned to take extra caution Thursday morning as several weather winter storm and snowfall warnings were in place.

Environment Canada announced winter storm warnings for parts of Highway 3 from Hope to Princeton and the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt, with driving conditions expected to be "hazardous."

"A frontal system will move across the B.C. Interior today," the weather warning said.

"Snow is expected to become heavy at times later this morning. Snowfall amounts near 30 cm can be expected by Friday morning."

Environment Canada's weather forecast for Hope shows snow changing to rain showers by the late morning. Wet snow or rain is also possible on Friday, before rain takes over the forecast for the next several days.

Further east on Highway 3, between Paulson Summit and Kootenay Pass, a snowfall warning suggested up to 20 centimetres could accumulate before the evening.

"Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations," Environment Canada's warning said. "Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow."

Metro Vancouver also saw an unexpected dump of snow in some areas, with as much as seven centimetres accumulating on local roads. Many streets weren't prepped overnight with salt or brine, creating slippery conditions for drivers. 

In spite of the overnight snowfall, Vancouver is expected to see highs of 9 C on Thursday. Friday is predicted to be mainly sunny with temperatures expected to reach 8 C and not dip below freezing.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Regan Hasegawa