Prince Rupert will continue to see far below average freezing temperatures into the new year, Environment Canada said on Dec. 23.
Christmas day will see temperatures plummet to -15 C and New Year’s Eve will see similarly cold conditions.
The average temperature on New Year’s day for the city is 4.6 C as a high with -1.6 C for a low. Celebrations on Dec. 31, last year, saw a mild 6 C high with a 1 C low.
“We’re going to below those values for sure,” Brian Proctor, meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada, told The Northern View.
This latest cold snap for Prince Rupert is unusual, but is not set to break any records, Proctor said.
The unusually extended cold snap in the region is being caused by a combination of factors, one from Alaska and the other from the B.C. interior.
From the Gulf of Alaska, a Northwest arctic flow pattern is brushing up against the North Coast causing the current, and future, chilly weather. Combined with Arctic air dammed up in the Interior, which is “seeping out,” is responsible for the abnormal, but not completely out of the realm of the possible, conditions, Proctor said.
Occasionally, cold air trapped in the Interior escapes and, when that happens, the North Coast tends to get snow.
Across the province, communities will see similarly frigid conditions with a series of strong storms set to clash with cold Arctic air throughout the holiday season, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said on Dec. 21.
Drivers are advised to be prepared if they will be travelling during the rest of the holidays.
“The important thing for people that are looking at travelling [is] to take their time, drive to the road conditions and make sure you have a winter safety kit,” Proctor said.
Kits should include blankets, candles, a shovel plus other essentials.
Residents travelling further inland will see even more snowfall than Prince Rupert and should be prepared accordingly, he said.
The Arctic flow is not expected to increase any kind of avalanche patterns on the North Coast. For that to happen, there would need to be higher temperature and much heavier snowfall to make snowpack layers unstable, Proctor said.
Norman Galimski | Journalist
Send Norman email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter