WATCH: Temperatures are set to plunge and snow is headed towards Vancouver Island. There is an Environment Canada special weather statement in effect that says much colder conditions will begin tomorrow night and persist into late next week. And snow squalls could translate into snow by Sunday. As Mary Griffin reports, a blast of winter may about to put an end to all our bragging about balmy weather and flowers in bloom.
The rosemary, heather, and pansies on Vancouver Island don’t know it’s January, only that it’s warm enough to bloom.
But that’s about to change according to Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan.
“We’re going to see the temperatures plummet on Saturday kind of late, probably early Sunday,” Castellan said.
Meaning these snow shovels will finally be sold as snow is expected on the south island for the first time this winter.
“After Monday and Tuesday, which are the coldest days of this cold arctic outbreak, is that then the ground is much more ready to have snow stick to it,” Castellan said.
Crews at Mainroad Construction are preparing for just that, according to Operations Manager Chris Cowley.
“These trucks here are getting ready to apply salt and plow the roads in the case of accumulations,” Cowley said.
Beginning tonight, these crews will monitor roads on the Malahat, in Duncan, and Lake Cowichan.
“We deployed our resources across our service area. And we’re ready for whatever comes,” Cowley said.
With temperatures expected to dip five to 10 degrees below normal for the next two weeks, the emergency response protocol will be in place for Victoria shelters. At Our Place Society, Operations Manager Le-Ann Dolan said they are expecting the cold to bring people in.
“We’re ready for it to come. So we’ll have thirty extra shelter beds for people to come in that are living rough. So they are not out in doorways, or in the parks,” Dolan said.
With a mild winter, there’s more demand for garden supplies than snow shovels. At Capital Iron Manager Gord Bland said the snow supplies are out.
“We’re getting all our salt ready for the sidewalks, and we’ve got our snow shovels out, scrappers, and I means it’s coming. Certainly, hope we don’t get what they got back east. But it’s coming,” Bland said.
But some are never really prepared for the snow, like Capital Iron employee Stephanie Parker.
“I mean I’ll have to go into the workshop and pull out the shovel. I share with my neighbour and we only have one at our end of the street. No-one ever seems to have them,” Parker said.
For those doubting Thomases, be prepared. It was Feb. 21, 2018 when the last blast of winter hit the region.