Thursday, February 22, 2024

Environment Canada predicts snow and cold temperatures for Victoria next week


BC residents best bundle up and brace themselves for rain, the next week is going to be cold and wet.

Beginning on December 17th, Environment Canada’s forecast for Greater Victoria is bleak. The whole week has highs of -1 and 0 degrees with snow or rain expected nearly every day.

Forecasts for other areas of the southern coast of BC are expected to be 5 to 10 degrees colder than normal temperatures. Wind chill will also be bringing temperatures down for an even more extreme cold.

(Environment Canada)

The City of Victoria will likely be opening its warming centres in the city’s downtown area and in James Bay as it has the last few cold snaps. These centres are meant to help those without homes to find reprieve from the freezing temperatures. The City usually communicates which warming centres are open via Twitter.

The province also wants to remind motorists that with snow, rain and freezing temperatures come dangerous driving conditions.

Workers in the Ministry of Transportation will be treating provincial roads and highways with brine and abrasive materials to assist drivers in driving on roads affected by snow and ice. Ultimately though, avoiding driving in dangerous conditions when possible is the best way to avoid collisions. 

Aside from abstaining from driving, the ICBC recommends the following tips when you must drive:

  • Equip your vehicle: 
    • Put winter tires on your vehicle as soon as you can, if you haven’t already. In BC, these are defined as having both the “M” and the “S” symbols for mud and snow conditions
    • Have an emergency kit in your vehicle
    • Have a snow and ice scraper in your vehicle to fully be able to clear your vehicle of visual obstructions
  • Take it slow:
    • ICBC says that the key to driving in the snow is to take your journey slow and steady. 
    • Accelerate slowly and make your turns gradually–no sudden movements
    • Anticipate stops and turns well in advance keeping your foot on the brake pedal 
  • Patience is a virtue:
    • Check up to date road conditions on Victoria’s most travelled roads
    • Don’t try and pass snow plows in urban areas or on highways. These vehicles might be equipped with a wing blade not visible to passing vehicles
  • Awareness is key: 
    • When temperatures with windchill factored in get below freezing, be aware of black ice which is not always readily visible 
    • Be extra aware of cyclists and pedestrians around you

Although snow is in the forecast for the coming days, Environment Canada predicts that there will be no snow on Christmas Day. This is in contradiction to the Old Farmer’s Almanac’s predictions for a white Christmas on December 25th.

Curtis Blandy

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