It came a week too early for a white Christmas and instead, the unexpected snowfall Tuesday morning left commuters with white knuckles on the drive to work.
Residents in many parts of the Tri-Cities woke up to snow Tuesday morning and the eventual traffic tie-ups that often plague the first major dump of the season.
The weather led to traffic delays on major routes, and motorists were abandoning their cars on some of the bigger hills in the Tri-Cities.
At Coquitlam Towing and Storage, the calls started coming in at 5 a.m., and by noon there was a wait of more than two hours for a truck.
Owner Ric Sisson said the calls came first from residents trying to get out of their driveways and off side streets, but that changed to accident calls along the major routes.
He said it's not unusual to get a busy day when it's the first major snowfall of the season.
"It happens more often when people are not prepared," Sisson told The NOW, adding his shop dealt with three times the regular volume of calls on Tuesday.
The weather also played havoc with School District 43.
District officials decided to keep schools open, but activity buses, which take kids to sporting and special events, were cancelled.
"We definitely will notice a drop in attendance today [Tuesday] and that's expected," said spokeswoman Cheryl Quinton, who added it's entirely up to parents if they don't feel it's safe to bring their child to school when it's snowing.
She explained the district uses a variety of sources to determine whether to close schools.
While it was snowing lightly Tuesday morning by the decision time of 7 a.m., Quinton said the weather didn't get worse until after the decision had been made.
"We make our determination based on the best available information at the time and conditions are very changeable on days like today, so it's understandable not everyone will agree with our decision," she said.
With another snowfall forecast for Tuesday evening, some were predicting the Wednesday morning commute would be just as bad.
Quinton said school district officials would post any school closures after 7 a.m. on the home page of the district's website.
Police were also kept busy during Tuesday's commute, dealing with several vehicle incidents, however no serious crashes were reported.
RCMP Cpl. Jamie Chung said Coquitlam Mounties dealt with eight vehicle incidents in the morning, including complaints of drivers speeding through school zones.
He noted trouble spots were anywhere there was a hill.
"Snow tires help tremendously and also it's the way we drive too," Chung said.
Coquitlam RCMP were advising drivers to stay home or use caution if they decided to venture out on the roads Wednesday morning.
In Port Moody, the police department was busy dealing with abandoned vehicles, but no major crashes were reported.
Port Moody Police Department spokesman Luke Van Winkel said a lot of drivers were caught off guard by the snow and were still driving on summer tires.
For Wednesday, he recommended drivers stick to safer routes and give themselves plenty of time to get to where they need to go.
In the meantime, Van Winkel said city crews would be doing their best Tuesday night to keep the streets clear and as snow free as possible.
"For us, we know where the problem areas are and we'll be responding as best we can to help people out," he said.
By midday Tuesday, City of Port Moody officials noted in an e-mail crews were clearing all the priority streets and would be scheduling trucks as needed for the expected snowfall later that evening.