British Columbia

Cold snap blankets B.C. as Arctic air brings extreme temperatures, wind

Meteorologists with Environment Canada are urging residents in B.C. to stay indoors this Boxing Day as wind chill values could dip below -20 C.

Environment Canada warns it could feel as cold as –20 C with wind chill on Boxing Day

A woman walks down a street in downtown Vancouver during a period of snowfall on December 17. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Meteorologists with Environment Canada are urging residents in B.C. to stay indoors this Boxing Day as wind chill values could dip below -20 C.

Environment Canada issued an extreme cold and Arctic outflow warning throughout most of the province this holiday weekend, as Arctic air flows through the province's Interior, bringing strong and bitterly cold winds to coastal communities like the Fraser Valley, Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island.

Gregg Walters, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, says while the bulk of the snow fell on Saturday, the Arctic air is expected to stick around for the entire week.

"It's certainly not record setting for as cold as it gets in Vancouver tonight, but we're looking at the overnight lows down around –11 C," Walters said. "And it's going to be below normal for the next few days."

He said winds are expected to gust up to 80 km/h, especially in the Fraser Valley and Hope, which will lead to wind chill values dipping to –20 C and risk of frostbite and hypothermia.

"It's coming down from basically the B.C. Interior and down to the Fraser Canyon and then it comes out the valley from Hope and westward," Walters said.

Clouds are expected to roll in on Monday, which will help moderate temperatures, he said. 

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