An arctic front passing over Vancouver Island is bringing temperatures that are about five to 10 degrees below seasonal, according to Environment Canada.
Ross Macdonald, meteorologist with the agency, says the arctic front is making its way across the lower mainland Sunday morning, then will make its way to the Island overnight.
“With that, at least in the mainland side, we’re seeing a fair amount of snow, which has developed this morning, across, especially Metro Vancouver. And it’s been particularly heavy in some pockets,” Macdonald told CHEK News saying some areas have between five to 10 centimetres of snow.
“That same arctic front is going to push towards the Island. We’re not expecting to see the same kind of snowfall totals that we’ve been seeing on the mainland side, but we will see a little bit of snow come across during the day to day and tonight.”
Macdonald says the areas between the Malahat and Nanaimo could receive between two to four centimetres of snow, and the Victoria area is expected to receive around two centimetres.
Monday and Tuesday night are expected to be the coldest, with overnight lows in Nanaimo around minus six or seven and Victoria expected to be around minus four or five.
“We’ll definitely be about five to 10 degrees below normal with overnight lows and daytime highs here with the arctic airmass,” Macdonald said.
With the cold temperatures and snow, agencies are advising people to be prepared.
The provincial government is advising people to avoid driving if possible, and to take an emergency kit if you do have to go out.
Cold, snowy conditions are on the way in BC. Remember to plan ahead and expect delays. Stay off the road if you can. If you must drive, make sure you have snow tires and a well-stocked emergency kit. Stay up to date with @DriveBC #BCStorm pic.twitter.com/YPPMlKmlNm
— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) December 17, 2022
Emcon Services says it is important for drivers to reduce their speed and avoid harsh braking, increase space between vehicles, be patient, and to not pass snow plows.
Snowfall is creeping in from the west on South #VanIsle.
Please remember to adjust driving habits:
— Emcon Services Inc. – South Island Division (@EmconSouthVI) December 18, 2022
BC Hydro says crews are on standby to handle power outages should they occur.
Update: it's snowing! ❄️ Our crews are ready to respond in the event of any power outages. Are you prepared? https://t.co/Xp7pMAcpvC
📞 Report outages: 1 800 224 9376
📞 Report fallen power lines: 911
📱 Outage updates: https://t.co/41YURkWlqB
#BCStorm #BCSnow pic.twitter.com/uj8yQE8aYO
— BC Hydro (@bchydro) December 18, 2022
Some Island communities have opened overnight warming centres for homeless people during the cold, including Campbell River and Victoria.
.@SalArmyVicARC will also be operating an overnight shelter at 525 Johnson Street from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
— City of Victoria (@CityOfVictoria) December 18, 2022
-With files from CHEK’s Dean Stoltz