UPDATE Feb. 10 5 a.m.:
Special weather statement in effect for East Vancouver Island – Courtenay to Campbell River:
Localized heavy flurries expected today. Conditions are favourable for the development of localized heavy flurries today. Rapid accumulations exceeding 5 cm within a few hours are possible at some locations.
Arctic outflow warning in effect for Greater Victoria:
Wind chill values ranging from minus 15 to minus 25 expected tonight.
Arctic air has settled over BC.
An Arctic airmass over BC will continue to give very cold conditions to the province. Temperatures over southern BC will continue to drop with the coldest days expected to be today and Thursday.
Temperatures over Interior regions will be 10 to 20 degrees below the seasonal average, while coastal areas will be 5 to 10 degrees below seasonal, making for the coldest conditions seen this season. The frigid conditions will persist for the remainder of the week.
Vancouver Island has entered what is expected to be the coldest part of its winter and it may be accompanied by snow as early as today.
Environment Canada predicts a 30 to 40 per cent chance of flurries Tuesday, a few flurries Wednesday and periods of snow to outright snow on Friday and Saturday across the Victoria to Campbell River population corridor.
The potential for snow comes amid a special weather statement for Vancouver Island and southern B.C., warning of cold arctic air moving over the Interior and flowing towards the coast. Coastal areas of the province can expect temperatures five to 10 degrees below seasonal, according to Environment Canada, and the chilly weather can be expected to stay for the remainder of the week.
Bobby Sekhon, a warning and preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada said while the cold air outbreak is unusual, it is not the first time the area has seen dips in temperature in February.
“We do get blasts of Arctic air coming down from the Yukon and Northern B.C. There is a lot of cold air in Western and Eastern Canada … there’s a pool of cold air over the prairies and right now over Northern B.C. It’s getting down to temperatures near -30 C in Prince George and Fort St. John. (The cold temperatures) are all relative.”
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement as a result.
Sekhon noted the cold air mass will be in place for most of the week, with temperatures dipping down to as low as -6 C Wednesday through Friday nights with daytime highs only reaching -1 C on Friday.
There is some good news, as Sekhon added it is looking as though the Family Day long weekend is expected to see some warming temperatures. And despite the likelihood of snow, the weather agency is not expecting any large amounts.
“This is our transition into March – we had a really good January and there’s always a chance of it being snowy and cold. February snow can still happen, but as we get into March the chances of snow are less likely, especially as the sun angle is improving and warming things up.”
— with files from Black Press