A blast of cold Arctic air is making its way over Vancouver Island, with temperatures dropping five to 10 degrees below normal.
Bobby Sekhon, a warning and preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada said while the cold air outbreak is unusual, it is not the first time the area has seen dips in temperature in February.
“We do get blasts of Arctic air coming down from the Yukon and Northern B.C. There is a lot of cold air in Western and Eastern Canada … there’s a pool of cold air over the prairies and right now over Northern B.C. It’s getting down to temperatures near -30 C in Prince George and Fort St. John. (The cold temperatures) are all relative.”
On the Island and in the Comox Valley specifically, temperatures over interior regions will be 10 to 20 degrees below the seasonal average, while coastal areas will be five to 10 degrees below seasonal, making for the coldest conditions seen this season.
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement as a result.
Sekhon noted the cold air mass will be in place for most of the week, with temperatures in the Valley dipping down to -5 C Wednesday through Friday nights with daytime highs only reaching -1 C on Friday.
There is some good news, as Sekhon added it is looking as though the Family Day long weekend might see some warmer temperatures.
Until then, he warned there might be a small chance of low-level moisture, bringing with it a 60 per cent chance of overnight flurries Tuesday. However, the weather agency is not expecting any large amount of snowfall.
“This is our transition into March – we had a really good January and there’s always a chance of it being snowy and cold. February snow can still happen, but as we get into March the chances of snow are less likely, especially as the sun angle is improving and warming things up.”