Arctic blast breaks dozens of record lows in B.C.

This week’s arctic outflow brought with it snow and frigid conditions to B.C., toppling dozens of temperature records across the province.

CityNews Meteorologist Michael Kuss says new records, though not official, were set in several areas around B.C., including the Lower Mainland.

“At YVR, Pitt Meadows, Abbotsford, Agassiz, Vancouver Island, around the capital region and central island too, as morning lows were between -11°C and -16°C, even along the coast,” he said Friday.

“Inland, on the other side of the coast range, we’re talking about -30s and below.”

He says arctic outflow winds will continue to be the big story for the South Coast, with windchills expected to remain in the -15°C to -25°C range until the end of the week.

“And even though it will gradually warm on Saturday and Sunday, temperatures will remain below freezing for daytime highs and morning lows still could be in a record range Saturday morning, with wind chills in the -20s,” Kuss added.

The blast of cold air that settled in across the province earlier this week created chaos on local roads.

Vehicles on Highway 1 in North Vancouver stuck on the Cut amid snowfall on Jan. 11, 2024.
Vehicles on Highway 1 in North Vancouver stuck on the Cut amid snowfall on Jan. 11, 2024. (Courtesy DriveBC)

The system has prompted an arctic outflow warning for much of B.C., with Environment and Climate Change Canada saying there is a risk of frostbite and hypothermia “if adequate precautions are not taken when outdoors.”

Kuss says the Lower Mainland may not see temperatures above freezing until Tuesday.

The forecast for the weekend, albeit much colder than the region is generally used to, also includes sunny skies before precipitation is set to return next week.

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