Extreme cold warnings issued for West as snow snarls B.C. commuters
TORONTO -- Several provinces in the West are bracing for extreme cold warnings, as parts of the country such as Quebec and the Atlantic region still recover from this weekend’s heavy rainfall and freezing rain.
Over the weekend, Toronto saw nearly 70 millimetres of rain; southern Ontario’s Grand River Watershed was hit by flooding; and freezing rain through Montreal and other parts of Quebec that left many residents without power.
As of Monday afternoon, Environment and Climate Change Canada was cautioning of extreme cold warnings and blowing snow warnings for massive swaths of British Columbia, most of Alberta; as well as parts of the Yukon and Saskatchewan.
On Monday, in some areas such as Prince George and B.C.’s Lakes District, “north winds combined with cold temperatures will create wind chill values near minus 40.” And temperatures of -45 C along the boundaries with Yukon and northwestern Alberta. In other areas such as Fraser Valley, gusts could get as high as 80 km/h and help generate wind chill values of - 20 or lower. The warnings should be taken seriously as exposed skin – including in pets -- can freeze in approximately ten minutes.
Forecasted bitterly cold Arctic air is expected to linger over the region for several days.
On Monday, snow snarled the morning commute in Metro Vancouver as the weather also caused dozens of crashes and closures and delays on major highways and bridges.
As much 25 centimetres of snowfall forced local schools and sailing routes to Vancouver Island to close.
The B.C. region is still recovering from a fast-moving Arctic front that moved west. There was near-zero visibility with blowing snow and flash freezing conditions.
Some videos even captured snowplows having some difficulty navigating through snow-covered streets.
This week, in the Prairies, cold air will limit the snowfall, with temperatures expected to continue to drop until the weekend.
Meanwhile, parts of Ontario are expected to be hit by some light snow, with residents breathing a sigh of relief after flooding and freezing rain conditions end.
Moving further to the East, a chance of flurries is being predicted in the Atlantic region later in the week -- which will contrast the weather residents there experienced over the weekend.
Parts of the Maritimes were hit by freezing rain for the second time this year; with travel warnings having been issued for Prince Edward Island and much of New Brunswick.
With files from The Canadian Press