Winter wallop caps off week of wild weather on Vancouver Island

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WatchWATCH: It's been a week of wild weather with the frigid polar vortex, arctic outflow winds and record snowfall. Tess van Straaten reports.

It’s been a week of wild weather on Vancouver Island.

It all started last Tuesday when arctic air plunged us into the deep freeze.

The polar vortex and arctic outflow winds led to wind chill readings in the minus double digits — a rare occurrence for normally temperate Vancouver Island.

It was cold enough to cause frostbite and it was a total shock to the system after the above-seasonal temperatures we’d had so far this winter.

“Definitely a memorable cold snap for February and one that’s not just three or four days long,” says Environment & Climate Change Canada meteorologist Armel Castallan.

“This year, we’re dealing with the La Niña that has finally given us those northwesterly patterns that bring us that kind of cold and the old adage about never trusting a northwesterly pattern totally holds!”

Then, another winter wallop for the Family Day long weekend — snow, and lots of it with back-to-back storm systems.

“Do you really want to know what I think of the snow?” quipped Mill Bay resident Ron Parsons on Saturday. “I’m almost 65 and I’ve getting too old to shovel it.”

The snowfall smashed several daily records and brought a total of almost 25 centimetres to Victoria and more than 40 centimetres to Nanaimo and more than 45 to the Malahat.

Most of that snow is now melting, turning to a slushy mess as the Island gets back to more seasonal weather conditions.

Family Day long weekend snowfall totals for Vancouver Island:

Tofino: 15 cm

Comox: 19.4 cm

Victoria: 24 cm

Duncan: 28 cm

Campbell River: 29.6 cm
Nanaimo: 40.8 cm
Malahat: 46 cm

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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