All of Vancouver Island and most of mainland B.C. are under special weather statements with Environment Canada saying arctic air is expected to “invade” the province.
Identical special weather statements have been issued for Greater Victoria, East Vancouver Island, Inland Vancouver Island, North Vancouver Island, West Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands.
According to the special weather statement issued by Environment Canada, arctic air will begin to “invade” Vancouver Island and the rest of the B.C. coastal region, stretching as far as the eastern interior, bringing with it a major shift in temperature from the mild January weather that the region has been experiencing.
The choice of words comes in part with what Ken Dosanjh, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, says is a “funnel effect” the arctic air is taking as it moves through the valleys of the province and pours out onto the Island.
Dosanjh also says these temperatures are below what’s expected for this time of year. “Your normal in this time frame are lows near +2, so now we’re reaching below that threshold,” he said in a phone interview.
He adds that while it’s not an extreme cold warning, it is something to pay attention to. As we head into the weekend he’s expecting lows to reach the single digits, somewhere between -2 and -5.
Residents are advised to dress warmly in layers if they plan on going outside and to be prepared for cold temperatures and strong winds. Drivers are also advised to drive with care, especially along coastal routes exposed to outflow winds.
Due to the forecast cold temperatures, the City of Victoria, Victoria Cool Aid Society, and Salvation Army will open overnight warming centres and shelters.
.@VicCoolAid will be operating an overnight shelter at Rock Bay Landing, 535 Ellice Street from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. – please phone ahead to reserve a mat: 250-383-1951. @SalArmyVicARC also will be operating an overnight shelter at 525 Johnson Street from 8:30 p.m. to 8 a.m.
— City of Victoria (@CityOfVictoria) January 28, 2023
The city will run an overnight warming centre, opening at 8 p.m., at the St. John the Divine Church at 1611 Quadra Street.
Victoria Cool Aid will operate an overnight shelter at Rock Bay Landing at 535 Ellice Street opening at 9 p.m.
The Salvation Army will open an overnight shelter 8:30 p.m. at 525 Johnson Street.
Environment Canada is urging residents to continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by the agency. To report severe weather, residents are advised to send an email to [email protected].