Don’t let all that sunshine fool you… things are about to get very chilly in Vancouver, and snow is forecast to fall this weekend and into next week.
After all the talk of flowers blooming early, flurries are now expected on Sunday in Metro Vancouver and blizzard, winter storm and extreme cold warnings have been issued for several parts of central and eastern British Columbia.
Environment Canada says following a relatively mild first half of winter, a transition to much colder conditions is forecast to begin Saturday night over the south coast, with Arctic air pushing southwards across the interior of the province over the weekend.
It says cold air will persist into the latter half of next week and temperatures will be five to 10 degrees below average, making for the coldest conditions seen this season. In the Haines Road area close to the Yukon border, a prolonged period of very cold wind chills is forecast to send the mercury plunging to near —45 C.
On Sunday in Metro Vancouver, the forecast calls for a few rain showers or flurries changing to a few flurries near noon and into the evening, with temperatures dipping to —3C overnight.
Only about 2cm of snow is predicted to fall on Sunday and Vancouverites are either excited or already fed up with all the fuss and cold weather warnings — taking to social media to express themselves.
Here’s what they’re posting on Twitter:
You know it's Vancouver when a special weather statement is issued for the *chance* of snow. (Confession: I've become a weather wuss over the last 22 years, but spent most of the prior 38 back east and remember -50 windchills in Montreal and snowbanks in NS taller than my 5'3".)— G. (@cybersphynx) February 1, 2019
Having grown up in Ontario, this is what I think whenever I hear about Vancouver activating a "Snow Plan"— Mark Sweeney (@MarkSweeney) February 1, 2019
[alt text: animated gif of Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons endless stepping on rakes and having the handles smack him in the face.] pic.twitter.com/vEEoJd3vjc
Living in Vancouver is weird because we get special weather statements because were expected to get 3cm of snow tomorrow...— courtney crawford (@court_crawfordd) February 2, 2019
Vancouver Flowering Plants please take note it's about to go down to assfreezing cold and snow and stay that way for most of a week.— GrandmaOgre (@TheCorrection) February 2, 2019
Snow is *supposedly* hitting Vancouver lower mainland this weekend and I'll be finally * trying* to write. Wish me luck. If we end up buried in snow it was my fault. #amwriting pic.twitter.com/da683TpZOz— 𝐕𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐚 (@ThePenGal) February 2, 2019
Vancouver is expecting lows down to -6 this week and has put out a "Special Weather Statement" about it— Sonja B (@UBC_SB) February 2, 2019
This is quite normal.— 604Terry (@604Raincouver) February 2, 2019
November ... Rain
December ... Rain/Snow
January ... Colder rain
February ... Cold...Sunny...Snow
March ... Warmer rain with sunshine
April ... Rain Rain Rain
Vancouver, I want to get a bit contentious....Do you use an umbrella in the snow?— Tyler Hamilton (@50ShadesofVan) February 1, 2019
What's the rest of next week look like?
From Monday, there’s three days of sunshine on the way, but you’re still going to want to rug up, with temperatures expected to drop to a low of 1C during the day and —6C at night.
By mid-week, there’s more snow in the forecast, with a 30 percent chance of flurries on Wednesday evening and a low of —2. Thursday’s forecast also calls for a chance of flurries or rain showers.
Heading into Friday things start to warm up again, well a little, to 4C, with a mix of sun and cloud forecast for the day.
With all this snow 'on the way', The City of Vancouver is also reassuring the community it is ready to respond to all kinds of winter weather and is encouraging residents to prepare as well.
In a press release on Saturday the city highlighted that it had a comprehensive snow response plan and worked with meteorologists to prepare.
“In preparation for lower temperatures and snow showers starting Sunday and continuing into next week, the City has staff scheduled around the clock for brining, salting and, if necessary, plowing of priority routes,” the statement says.
“The City is also prepared to open its Departmental Operations Centre in the event of snow accumulations."
Here's some tips from the City on how to prepare for winter:
- Prepare your snow gear early: Make sure you have shovels, snow boots, snow tires and salt before the temperature drops.
- Get winter tires: If you drive through the winter, consider getting tires with the three-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol OR the mud and snow symbol, with at least 3.5 mm tread. The Province of BC requires these tires on provincial highways.
- Know your obligations: All property owners and occupants must clear snow and ice from sidewalks around their property by 10 am the morning after a snowfall, seven days a week.
- If you are unable to clear your walk and have no other alternatives, you are encouraged to sign up for the Snow Angel Program to be connected to a volunteer.
- Join the Adopt a Catch Basin Program: With over 45,000 catch basins in the city, residents help clearing leaves or snow from catch basins in advance of rain can dramatically reduce neighbourhood flooding.
- Failure to remove snow and ice may result in fines.
- With files from The Canadian Press