With the wind chill, temperatures plummeting to between -20 C and -30 C are expected in Prince Rupert and the Northcoast, including Stewart, Terrace and Kitimat, Environment Canada warned, on Dec. 28.
“An Arctic ridge of high pressure over the B.C. interior continues to bring cold northeasterly outflow winds across the north and central coasts,” Environment Canada stated in a warning posted on their website.
The cold temperatures combined with the strong outflow winds will produce wind chill values between -20 C to -30 C, in Prince Rupert, with the mercury dropping to -34 C in Terrace and Kitimat, Louis Kohanyi, a meteorologist with Environment Canada told Black Press Media.
While temperatures in Terrace and Kitimat are not record-breaking, Kohanyi said, low-temperature records were broken in Prince Rupert on Dec. 26 with the mercury plunging to -17.8 C, freezing out the previous record set on Dec. 26 in 1968 at -15.6. The coldest day on record in the city on the coast was Jan. 4, 1965, registered at -24.4 C.
While the Arctic air will maintain the cold wind chill through to the end of December, the wind chill values will vary through this period as temperatures fluctuate and wind speeds rise and fall. Winds overnight could reach up to 70 kilometres per hour, Kohanyi said.
“Frostbite and hypothermia can occur within minutes if adequate precautions are not taken when outdoors. Ensure that shelter is provided for pets and outdoor animals. Be prepared for unusually cold temperatures and strong winds,” the weatherman said.
“If it is too cold for you to be outside, then it is too cold for your pets,” Kohanyi said.
More than five cm of snow is expected in Prince Rupert on Dec. 29, with a daytime temperature rising to -3 C on Dec. 30, and rising again on New Year’s Eve to zero, with rain forecasted. Overnight temperatures will drop to below freezing creating icy conditions.
Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to BCstorm@ec.gc.ca or tweet reports using #BCStorm.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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