Environment Canada warns frigid temperatures to blanket B.C. through next week

·1 min read

VANCOUVER — Large parts of southern and central British Columbia were under winter storm and snowfall warnings that Environment Canada says were expected to ease by Christmas Eve before the whole province gets a frigid punch.

Special weather statements were posted for Victoria, Metro Vancouver and the inner south coast advising that rain would turn to snow over the weekend as a blast of arctic air causes temperatures to plunge provincewide for the rest of December.

The freezing air was expected to bring snow to the south coast as temperatures fall well below seasonal and, coupled with wind chill, the weather office says there is an increased risk of frostbite and hypothermia.

Extreme cold was already gripping northern B.C., where wind chill made it feel close to -45 C in areas along the Yukon boundary.

Environment Canada says an Arctic outflow warning for north coast regions including Kitimat and Terrace is forecast to push wind chill values as low as -30 C this weekend, while areas from Prince George to Kelowna and Revelstoke could temperatures as low as -36 C by early next week.

Sub-zero conditions have already prompted evacuation alerts around the town of Smithers as an ice jam on the Bulkley River threatens to flood both sides of the waterway, with Smithers and the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako advising affected residents to be ready to leave on short notice.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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