Mercury plummets as Vernon experiences coldest day this winter | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Mercury plummets as Vernon experiences coldest day this winter

Ice can be seen on the shoreline of Okanagan Lake in Vernon, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.
February 04, 2019 - 4:16 PM

VERNON - If the icy nip in the air today seems just a little bit colder than any other day so far this season it's officially the coldest day this winter.

Environment Canada meteorologist Matt MacDonald said the -15.9 C low today, Feb. 4, in Vernon was the coldest temperature recorded so far this winter, just beating yesterday's low which reached down to -15.5 C.

Although the winter has been mild so far, with only three days so far colder than -10 C, historically by this time of year an average of 10 days would have seen the mercury dropping below -10 C.

Many schools around the region decided to keep pupils indoors today and away from the biting cold. North Okanagan-Shuswap School District spokesperson Alice Hucul said once temperature reach -10 C individual schools decide whether to let kids play outside at recess and lunch.

Hucul said Highland Park Elementary in Armstrong had decided to keep the kids in at recess and cancelled skiing and snowshoeing trips booked for this week, although hoped the excursions could be rescheduled. Armstrong Elementary School kept the kids inside for recess and lunch, and let them come inside before school rather playing outdoors. Hucul said the gym had been opened for certain activities and teachers had set up play centres in classrooms.

The majority of Grade 6 students at Len Wood Middle School braved the cold to walk to the arena to go skating, although some did stay put preferring to keep inside. The school also gave students the choice whether to venture outside at lunch and recess or stay indoors.

The Vernon School District followed a similar pattern with the majority of schools keeping pupils inside. Vernon School District spokesperson Maritza Reilly said some schools had let pupils outside if they wanted to go. Reilly said school buses had run on schedule and reminded parents to keep their children bundled up during this cold snap.

While kids stayed inside during frigid temperatures, the Vernon Winter Carnival plows ahead as planned. Vernon Winter Carnival executive director Vicki Proulx said no events had been cancelled or rescheduled and the carnival was very much business as usual.

"Just dress for the weather," said Proulx, adding "it's the joys of having a winter festival."

While the temperature in Vernon may seem bone-chillingly cold, up the hill at Silver Star Mountain Resort the mercury dropped even further. At 3 p.m. Feb. 4 the ski resorts website advertised -21.9 C in the village and -23.8 C on the mountain, although luckily with zero wind. Two of the resorts 10 ski lifts were also closed.

And the return of the mild winter isn't set to come back anytime soon.

MacDonald said while December recorded temperatures 4.4 C warmer than average, and January was 3.9 C warmer than average, the cold spell is forecast to last into mid-February. The meteorologist said by the weekend things would warm-up but Vernon would still only see highs of -4 C and lows of -10 C.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2019

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