It wasn’t unexpected, but yesterday’s cold front arrived suddenly and had a drastic effect on temperatures that Environment Canada warned were going to be colder than the region has experienced in years.
Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist says you only have to go back to 2017 to find temperatures in the range experienced in Kamloops overnight.
“It dropped to -23.9 Celsius in Kamloops last night, but back in January 2017 it hit -25 C in the city,” he says.
It seems unlikely this cold blast will break records, Lundquist says, with the city’s record cold temperatures in the -35 C range.
“We are forecasting temperatures of -25 C Tuesday and Wednesday,” he says.
Lundquist says the cold snap is “just a taste to remind us we’re Canadian. People forget about the cold, because we've had lots of mild winters. I think winter has gotten easier."
He says two more days of cold should be followed by a moderating trend that might result in snow on Friday or Saturday with temperatures possibly back around the freezing mark by the end of next weekend.
The snow and cold has affected travel in the Lower Mainland, forcing school closures in West Vancouver and Chilliwack, slowing B.C. Ferries’ schedule and causing multiple crashes and closures on area roads.
Elsewhere in B.C. and Alberta, temperatures could drop to as low as -45 C in northern B.C. Environment Canada has issued an extreme cold warning for most of Alberta, where extreme wind chill values near -40 C are expected today and tomorrow.
Today, Jan. 13, in Kamloops it should be mainly sunny but cold with a high near -17 Celsius and windchills between -25 C and -30 C. West winds at 30 km/h could add to the risk of frostbite.
A few clouds tonight will be accompanied by 25 km/h winds, creating a windchill in the -28 C range along with an overnight low to -20 C.
Tuesday should see a mix of sun and clouds with a high to -17, accompanied by a -30 C wind chill in the morning, rising to -27 C in the afternoon.
There’s a risk of frostbite on Tuesday as well, with the overnight low dipping to -25 C.
Compare that to Kamloops’s normal high and low for this time of year at -1 C and -8 C.
Temperatures start to move slowly upward Wednesday with a mix of sun and clouds and a high of -17 C.
Thursday should be sunny with a high and low of -15 C.
Clouds and flurries are forecast for Friday with temperatures steady at -11 C.
Clouds are expected over the weekend with daily highs climbing to -5 C on Saturday and -2 C on Sunday.
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