10 to 15 more centimetres of snow headed for Metro Vancouver, Abbotsford
Published Tuesday, January 14, 2020 7:14AM PST Last Updated Tuesday, January 14, 2020 7:00PM PST
VANCOUVER -- Another 10 to 15 centimetres of snow is expected to fall on Metro Vancouver and Abbotsford, starting Tuesday evening and heading into Wednesday, according to Environment Canada.
The snowfall warning comes as a blast of arctic air created a freezing wind chill in the double digits for those regions.
Environment Canada meteorologist Matt McDonald said it’s been quite a while since the South Coast has seen temperatures this low.
"Going back to 2008, actually — 12 years ago is the last time we saw cold air this cold in the Lower Mainland," said McDonald. "Over the next few days here, we’ve got a lot more snow in the forecast, and with that will come more wind. So even though the temperatures are climbing by a few degrees, those windy conditions will maintain those wind chills closer to -15, -20."
While temperatures hit a frigid -8 C outside Vancouver International Airport Tuesday morning, Environment Canada's forecast predicted the wind chill could make it feel even colder during the day, getting as low as -14 C.
In Abbotsford and Chilliwack, the wind chill was closer to -20.
The freezing conditions caused problems for city crews in Chilliwack battling the elements.
Director of operations Glen McPherson said the intense chill caused excess freezing, creating a sheet of ice out of the compact snow still covering local roads.
"We’ve only got about 10 per cent of the roads in Chilliwack down to bare pavement," said McPherson and added crews are spreading sand to try to increase traction for drivers, as salt isn’t effective when the temperature drops this low.
McPherson said blowing snow is also undoing the work of plows. He warned conditions are treacherous, and people should think twice before driving.
"Right in front of the operations centre here on Highway 1 today I’ve seen three vehicles go off the road," said McPherson.
There were significant delays on Highway 1 resulting from multiple incidents including a jackknifed semi near Sprott Street in Burnaby.
Public schools stayed open in the Fraser Valley, though the Chilliwack School District announced on its Facebook page that bus service was cancelled. The Abbotsford School District said it is up to individual schools whether kids go outside during the day, and they’re encouraging families to dress children in extra layers.
The City of Abbotsford also said extreme cold weather shelter spaces are open at the Look Out Society Riverside (1670 Riverside Road), Gateway Church (2884 Abbotsford Mission Highway), and The Warm Zone (women only, 33264 Old Yale Road).
In other parts of the province, the cold weather is also persisting, with 23 extreme cold warnings in place, seven Arctic outflow warnings and seven snowfall warnings across B.C. as of Tuesday afternoon. In some northern areas, "bitterly cold wind chill values near -45 are expected," Environment Canada said.