Prince George bracing for record low winter temperatures this week

·2 min read

Winter has come to Prince George earlier than usual, with snow accumulations of up to 15 centimetres in some areas.

Environment Canada forecasts flurries in the northern city for most of the week, with nighttime temperatures between -2 C and –13 C and daytime temperatures between 4 C and –4 C.

These are much lower than records for the same period in previous years, where the average low temperature was around –1 C and the average high temperature around 8 C.

"So, we're not getting as much melting [of the snow] happening," Environment Canada's senior meteorologist Carmen Hartt told Carolina De Ryk, the host of CBC's Daybreak North.

Hartt says the current snowy weather in Prince George is part of the La Niña global atmospheric phenomenon that is affecting Western Canada, which means winter is colder than in other years.

Other parts of B.C.'s northern Interior are also seeing heavy snow this week.

Kait Hogg
Kait Hogg

"It's all due to that Arctic air that's been pushing down, and it is expected to continue to push down this week," she said.

The snowy weather is proving to be a boon from Mother Nature for the Prince George Caledonia Nordic Ski Club, which is witnessing a 154 per cent growth in new memberships this season, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It looks like we're going to enter into an amazing season with all the snow," said the company's general manager Angela LeFebvre. "It's going to be a very busy year."

On Monday, the City of Prince George begins to clear snow and ice on roads and sidewalks. Following a heavy snow last Friday, the city also closed some parks and outdoor recreational facilities.

Andrew Kurjata/CBC
Andrew Kurjata/CBC

Hartt says the cold will start to ease this weekend, but, in Prince George, the snow is unlikely to disappear.

"Our [climate] normals are getting colder," she said. "Next week, it looks like we might rebound a little bit closer to normal temperatures, but it'll still be cold enough to snow."

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