(Photo by Colin Smith Photography)

Brace yourselves, Victoria.. and the rest of Vancouver Island!

According to Environment Canada, a Pacific frontal system will reach Vancouver Island tonight and cross the Lower Mainland on Friday.

Ahead of the front southeast winds of 60 to 80 km/h will develop early Friday morning over Southern Gulf Islands, the north and central sections of East Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast – Saltery Bay to Powell River, as well as Victoria near Haro Strait.

The winds are expected to ease midday Friday as the front moves away from the region.

BC Ferries posted a tweeted this afternoon warning the high winds could force sailing cancellations Friday on Vancouver Island and the mainland.

If the storm comes through as predicted, BC Ferries may have to cancel the following sailings:

• Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay
• Tsawwassen – Duke Point
• Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay
• Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands
• Comox – Powell River

Snowfall warning for Inland Vancouver Island

In addition to the windstorm, a snow warning has also been issued for Inland Vancouver Island.

An intense Pacific low and front brewing in the Gulf of Alaska this afternoon will approach the south coast on Friday. The system is sliding down from the northwest so there will be little warming of the cool airmass in place over Vancouver Island.

As a result, precipitation will fall as snow over inland Vancouver Island beginning this evening.

Most areas will receive 5 to 10 cm of accumulation by mid-morning Friday. Higher elevations such as Sutton Pass and Port Alberni Summit may get 15 cm or more total accumulation.

Precipitation is expected to change to rain by mid to late Friday morning.

See also: There is a 60% chance of snowfall in Victoria this weekend