‘Roads are slippery’: Arctic outflow brings cold snap to Vancouver Island

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Parts of Vancouver Island saw a dump of snow on Jan. 8, 2024.

Parts of Vancouver Island are expected to be hit with a blast of cold weather, with wind chill temperatures reaching a low of -30°C in some areas.

Environment Canada issued the arctic outflow warning for Greater Victoria, Southern Gulf Islands, North Vancouver Island, and the Malahat Highway, Duncan to Nanaimo and Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay have been issued a special weather statement for a potential for significant snowfall.

SEE ALSO: Road preparations underway for winter weather on South Island

North Vancouver, Greater Victoria and Southern Gulf Islands are expected to have a wind chill of -20°C.

In addition to the cold, Greater Victoria and Southern Gulf Islands are expected to see wind gusting to 60 km/h.

The arctic outflow warning is expected to last until Saturday.

“Wind chill values may moderate on Saturday afternoon but uncertainty remains on the timing of the warm-up,” Environment Canada.

Due to the cold weather on Vancouver Island, people are advised to bundle up to stay warm and prevent frostbite and hypothermia.

“Frostbite and hypothermia can occur within minutes if adequate precautions are not taken when outdoors. Any skin exposure will result in frostbite,” Environment Canada says. “If outside, dress warmly in layers and stay dry. Cover as much exposed skin as possible to avoid frostbite.”

Additionally, the weather agency recommends ensuring shelter is provided for pets and outdoor animals.

West Shore RCMP warned that the roads are slippery and people are asked to slow down and plan for extra time to arrive safe.

Potential for significant snowfall

Malahat Highway and Duncan to Fanny Bay may see significant snowfall due to the arctic front.

“Heavy snow can be very localized,” Environment Canada says. “Quickly accumulated snow and reduced visibilities could result in sudden change of driving conditions.”

The snow is expected to arrive at the Malahat Highway and Duncan area on Thursday afternoon, move to Nanaimo Thursday night then continue to Fanny Bay on Friday.

“There is still uncertainty regarding expected snowfall amounts and exact locations that will be affected,” Environment Canada says.

RELATED: Blast of arctic air over Western Canada could bring wind chill down to -55 C

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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