B.C.: Vicious winds threaten power outages for South Coast, Van. Island

Digital Writers
B.C.: Vicious winds threaten power outages for South Coast, Van. Island

The first taste of this season's snow arrived on parts of Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland on Tuesday, courtesy of Arctic air spilling down from the north. While the snow machine turns off (at least, for now) on Wednesday, frosty air and strong winds will have even those who didn't see snow reaching for an extra layer or two. And while the pattern is still uncertain, the pieces do seem to be falling into place for a significant snowfall event for the South Coast through the weekend. We take a look at this active pattern, and just how cold it gets, below.

Visit our Complete Guide to Winter 2019/2020 for an in depth look at the Winter Forecast, tips to plan for it and a sneak peek at the spring season next year

WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Power outage threat Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island on Wednesday
  • Arctic cold and strong winds will make for brisk wind chil for much of province through late week
  • Potential for major wintry storm this weekend
  • Stay aware of ALERTS in your area

WATCH BELOW: TRACKING POWER OUTAGE POTENTIAL

Arctic winds shift into high gear for Wednesday and Thursday, as the high pressure driving them sinks southward over the central Prairies, and an unusually powerful low cruises into northern California. Widespread winds gusting to 70+ km/h are likely across much of the Lower Mainland and southern end of Vancouver Island Wednesday afternoon and evening.

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Where outflow is funnelled by Howe Sound and the Fraser Valley, winds gusting as high as 90 km/h are likely. That's prompted Environment Canada to issued wind warnings for southeastern Metro Vancouver, parts of the Fraser Valley, Howe Sound, Victoria, and the Southern Gulf Islands. The strongest winds are expected to develop through Wednesday morning and ease on Wednesday night.

MUST SEE: VANCOUVER REPORTER STRUGGLES TO HOLD CAMERA IN STRONG WINDS DURING TV HIT

When combined with the already-brisk air in place over the region, these strong winds will send wind chill values dipping below freezing even along the coast by Thursday, with feels-like values in the negative double digits over the Interior.

Environment Canada has also issued a broad swath of special weather statements for the province, stretching from the B.C. Peace River region to Metro Vancouver, reminding residents to dress for the weather and keep winter emergency kits in their vehicles.

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If nothing else, the cold pattern will be a boon for snow-making operations at area ski resorts.

FROM THE MET DESK: WHY YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT SKI SEASON

FIRST FLAKES FOR VANCOUVER ISLAND

The Arctic outflow has sent temperatures tumbling for southwestern B.C., and that means some saw their first taste of snow for the season on Tuesday.

FIRST LOOK: POTENTIAL WEEKEND STORM

We may not have to wait very long for the rest of the southwest to see snow. Model guidance is hinting at the potential for a significant storm on the horizon this weekend -- one that would see abundant Pacific moisture colliding with lingering cold air and spawning snow over much of the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island.

While it's too soon for much in the way of details, this will be one to keep an eye on as we go through the week. Stay with us here at The Weather Network for all your latest forecast updates.