Icy cold, wind and chance of more snow across BC

Arctic chill over BC

UPDATE: 9:50 a.m.

Residents of coastal British Columbia are facing another day of winter-like conditions and frigid temperatures as the latest weather system brushes across the province.

Snowfall warnings are posted for eastern and inland Vancouver Island, with accumulations of up to 15 centimetres before the storm eases Saturday.

A high pressure system over the B.C. Interior is continuing to push icy air out to the coast, prompting Arctic outflow warnings for the north and central coasts, Fraser Valley and Whistler as wind chill values make it feel as cold as -20 C.

Wind warnings are in place for Greater Victoria and Howe Sound as gusts of up to 90 kilometres per hour are forecast, while special weather statements cover the Fraser Valley, Howe Sound, Sunshine Coast, southern Gulf Islands and Metro Vancouver.

A dusting of snow, no more than five centimetres, is expected in those regions, potentially creating challenges for the afternoon commute, but Environment Canada predicts "significantly less" impact than Tuesday night's storm.

Peace River residents in northeastern B.C., were still shivering through an extreme cold warning that also covered Yoho and Kootenay parks in the southeast and most of Alberta, but the weather office says wind chill values of -40 C early in the day were expected to ease to about -27 C by Saturday.

ORIGINAL: 6:25 a.m.

A high-pressure system over British Columbia is pushing Arctic air and bitter cold to some areas of the province, but heavy snow is no longer in the forecast.

Environment Canada has been forecasting for days that B.C.'s south coast and parts of Vancouver Island could get more snow, but that warning has been lifted with the expectation the system will pass south of Vancouver Island.

However, a series of Arctic outflow and extreme cold warnings remain in place, including a forecast of wind chill values to -40 C for the Peace River region.

Arctic outflows are also expected in the central and northern coast regions, as well as Whistler and the eastern Fraser Valley.

Wind chill values could drop to as low as -20 C in those areas before temperatures increase later today.

Environment Canada says frostbite and hypothermia can occur within minutes if people don't take precautions outdoors.

Although less snow is in the forecast, the B.C. Transportation Ministry says road maintenance contractors on the Lower Mainland are preparing.

It says snow could fall during the afternoon commute as the sub-zero temperatures rise.

The ministry says crews will be out in full force, treating roads with brine in advance of any precipitation and will be ready to manage accumulations of snow.

Drivers are encouraged to plan ahead, stay off the road if weather conditions worsen, and ensure their vehicles are properly equipped with snow tires.

British Columbia's auto insurer says the number of accident claims made Tuesday, when a major snowstorm hit the south coast, was nearly double that of the same day the week before.

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