Wind chill, cold temperatures and ‘significant snowfall’ in the forecast as winter weather continues on Vancouver Island

Wind chill, cold temperatures and 'significant snowfall' in the forecast as winter weather continues on Vancouver Island
andruxa20147 / Pixabay

Vancouver Islanders will want to continue to bundle up when they leave the house as the current winter weather is expected to linger until the weekend.

According to Environment Canada, an alert has been issued to the majority of the Island regarding a winter storm watch, which the agency says could bring “significant snowfall.”

Greater Victoria and the Southern Gulf Islands are under an Arctic Outflow warning.

“We are dealing with this arctic outflow it’s coming down the Fraser Valley and Howe Sound… all across the Georgia straight, ” said Armel Castellan, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada.

“Giving us these really cold, these bitterly cold northeasterly winds.”

The wind chill could reach up to -20. But snow is expected to arrive Friday night.

“With that cold pre-conditioned lower atmosphere, we are going to bring the pacific air late on Friday and we are going to see snow,” he said.” Aimed at the south Vancouver Island region, though up the western side of Vancouver Island up to Port Hardy. There is still a bit of a discrepancy of how much snow we’ll see but potentially up to 20 centimetres.”

The storm watch alert has been issued for Greater Victoria, the Southern Gulf Islands, Cowichan Valley, Duncan, Nanaimo, Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay, Inland Vancouver Island including Port Alberni and the entire west coast spanning areas such as Sooke, Jordan River, Port Renfrew, Tofino and Ucluelet.

“Pacific moisture will begin to collide with the arctic front along Vancouver Island Friday night. Snow that is forecast to start near midnight on Friday will persist through Saturday morning,” reads a statement from the weather agency.

The northern region of Vancouver Island is currently the only area not under the winter weather alert.

Environment Canada says temperatures in the above places will hover just below the freezing mark until the afternoon on Saturday, when the weather will start to warm up.

In addition to the winter weather warning, anticipated to hit Friday evening, Greater Victoria and the Southern Gulf Islands remain under a wind chill advisory as well.

“Rising surface pressures over the BC interior will continue to drive arctic air through mainland valleys and inlets. Frigid temperatures and strong outflow winds are expected,” says the weather agency.

For road crews, it’s going to be a busy and bundled up few days.

“Today is pretty much the coldest day,” said Kaique Gomes of JSK Traffic Control Services.

“I’m from Brazil and it’s really hot down there, for me this kind of weather is really hard… I have three pairs of pants and four jackets!”

Even with a wind-chill hitting double digits, a group of ocean dippers in Victoria is not backing down.

“The oddballs, we go out every day,” said Andy Bernhart, group founder.

“We go out because it’s a lot of fun and it gives us a lot of energy. Today is one of the colder days. So we tend to get out a little quicker”

The trip in and out was much more difficult.

“It’s not so much the water it’s the wind that’s cold,” said one group member.

Officials urge the public to make sure they bundled up if they are going outdoors, be ready for the roads and keep their eyes on the forecast.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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