VANCOUVER — Large areas of southern and central British Columbia were subject to winter storm and snowfall warnings. Environment Canada claims that they will be lifted by Christmas Eve, before the entire province is hit with a cold blast.
Special weather statements were posted in Victoria, Metro Vancouver, the inner south coast. They advise that rain will turn to snow over the weekend. An arctic blast causes temperatures to plummet throughout the province for the rest of December.
The south coast was expected to see snow due to the freezing air. Because temperatures are below seasonal, and wind chill is combined, the weather office warns of an increased risk for hypothermia and frostbite.
Northern British Columbia was already experiencing extreme cold. The wind chill in some areas along the Yukon border made it feel as close to -45 C.
Environment Canada warns that wind chill values in the Arctic outflow area, including Terrace and Kitimat on the north coast, could drop as low at -30C this weekend. Meanwhile, temperatures in areas such as Prince George, Kelowna and Revelstoke could drop as low as 36C by the middle of next week.
Already, evacuation alerts have been issued for Smithers due to sub-zero temperatures. An ice jam on the Bulkley river is threatening to flood both sides. Smithers and the Regional district of Bulkley–Nechako are advising affected residents to be ready for evacuation on short notice.
This report by The Canadian Press first appeared Dec. 23, 2021.