No snow on the South Island for now, but cold temperatures to stay


It’s mid-February on the South Island, and while daffodils are coming up along Dallas Road, snowdrops are falling from above.

It’s a much different picture across North America, with knee-deep snow and winds approaching 100 kilometres an hour paralyzing parts of the U.S.

Thousands of flights are cancelled, including hundreds at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

That system is moving up to Ontario, where Environment Canada issued warnings of heavy snow and an ice storm Wednesday night.

For south Vancouver Island, the weather pattern is changing, according to Armel Castellan, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

“We are escaping it for now, but it’s shifting back into winter,” said Castellan in an interview with CHEK News.

“Usually, we see that turnaround with the sun’s angle in the sky gets higher and higher. And the sun is noticeably stronger. But we have a signal that is going to overwhelm the sun signal for the next few days.”

Greater Victoria is not out of the woods yet.

City trucks are prepping the roads for the possibility of snow, and at least two overnight warming centres are being opened.

William Doyle, assistant director of public works with the City of Victoria, says crews are prepared.

“We are expecting some variable weather throughout the rest of the week,” said Doyle. “The forecast remains fairly uncertain. It looks like the possibility of snow accumulations through the weekend, on and off.”

So the snow could come this weekend to the South Island.

But forecasts range from as little as two centimetres up to fifteen for Sunday.

“We’ll still be a couple of degrees colder than normal. Probably not ten degrees colder than normal. But a little bit colder than at least ten days to two weeks,” said Castellan.

Temperatures are colder than expected, but Victoria residents walking their dogs along Dallas Road are taking the change in stride.

“I’ll be accepting that it’s going to come but hopefully doesn’t stay too long,” said one resident.

“I was kind of looking forward to spring. But I’ll adapt,” added another.

This last blast of winter could last into the middle of March.

READ ALSO: RCMP urges mid-Island drivers to ‘stay home’ as snow-slicked Highway 19 leads to crashes

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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