Meteorologists are warning residents of Metro Vancouver and the rest of B.C. that a cold snap is upon them.
A special Environment Canada weather statement for the Lower Mainland is warning that “the coldest conditions seen this season” are imminent, and an extreme cold warning has been issued for other parts of the province.
Gary Dickinson from Environment Canada says temperatures will start to drop Monday as an Arctic air mass moves from the Interior into the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver.
“(The Arctic air) will be fully in place by Wednesday, which will be the coldest day and night of the week with lows going down to about minus 10,” Dickinson said. It could feel colder in the Fraser Valley with a possible wind chill factor of minus 20, he added.
The City of Vancouver says crews have spent the weekend prepping. In a statement to CTV News on Sunday, the city said it has been brining essential routes “including arterials, roads adjacent to schools and health care facilities as well as priority hills, pedestrian pathways and bikeways,” adding the brining work will continue in the coming days.
Although ice is the major concern with plunging temperatures, there is also the chance of snow Tuesday night.
As a result, the Ministry of Transportation says every effort will be made to prevent snow and ice bombs falling from the Port Mann and Alex Fraser bridges, dangerous incidents that have become synonymous with winter storms.
A statement from the ministry says it will be using the cable system to keep cables free of snow and ice, adding that “rope access technicians, maintenance crews, traffic management and snow and ice technicians will be stationed at the Alex Fraser and Port Mann bridges in advance of forecasted snow.”
Dickinson says it’s unclear when warmer weather will return, saying there is a chance temperatures could stay low across Metro Vancouver into the coming weekend.
An extreme cold warning has also been issued for the North and South Peace River regions, Cassiar Mountains, Dease Lake, Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake, South Klondike Highway, Watson Lake and Yoho Park - Kootenay Park.
“Extreme cold wind chill values of near minus 40 to minus 45 are expected for today and tonight as an Arctic airmass settles over the region,” reads the Feb. 7 Environment Canada weather warning.
The wind chill will create an elevated risk of frostbite and hypothermia, warn the meteorologists.
Snowfall warnings are also in effect for other parts of the province.