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An updated B.C. outlook

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By Dayna Vettese
Meteorologist
@daynavettese
Friday, February 7, 2014, 12:06

The cold continues in British Columbia. Cold temperature records have been broken for several days with Vancouver’s International Airport breaking a cold record Thursday morning with a low of -9.9°C (replacing the old record -7.8°C in 1948). In the interior, records from the early 1900's were event broken. Below is a graphic showing the temperature anomalies (how much above or below the actual temperature was from the climate average) for the first four days of February. We can see that, as experienced, western Canada is in the midst of a spell of below normal temperatures. We have had wind chill warnings for parts of the B.C. interior and arctic outflow warnings for parts of the B.C. coast.

February 1-4, 2014 temperature anomalies from 1981-2010 climate normals (from ESRL)

February 1-4, 2014 temperature anomalies from 1981-2010 climate normals (from ESRL)

So you know it has been cold, but what does that mean for snow? 

Well, there could be some snow ... but more on that in a moment. 

The pattern has been changing and evolving in a rapid manner across Canada with January having a pattern conducive to low pressure systems moving north into the northern B.C. and Yukon region then sliding south across the Prairies, circumventing the southern regions of the province. As February progresses, we continue in this pattern for the next couple of weeks conducive to cold air outbreaks across British Columbia. It doesn't look as though the cold weather will stick around for the next couple of weeks but certainly into the weekend.


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Thursday morning, Vancouver International Airport recorded wind chill values around the -15 mark. Though it’s not often we get such cold wind chills along the south coast of B.C., we have seen temperatures colder than this before. The coldest wind chill ever recorded at Vancouver airport was -28 on December 16, 1964. The day time high only reached about the freezing mark on Wednesday as well making this the coldest day since about December 10, 2013. On Thursday, temperatures are expected remain at or just below freezing in the area.

This pattern is also favourable for a type of jetstream that will steer low pressure systems toward the coast. Several models are indicating below normal temperatures will stick around in B.C. until the beginning of next week before some of these systems will help to bring in some milder air. 

Canadian forecast model's solution for temperature anomalies (above or below normal) from Saturday, February 8 through Thursday, February 13, 2014.

Canadian forecast model's solution for temperature anomalies (above or below normal) from Saturday, February 8 through Thursday, February 13, 2014.

NEXT PAGE: WHEN WILL POTENTIAL SNOW HIT?

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