Weather in Comox Valley will get chillier before it gets warmer

The Comox Valley may be cold, but it's a dry cold, right?
As residents continue to pile on sweaters, the end of the most recent cold snap to hit the area may be in sight, but first the temperatures may get worse before they get better.

  • Feb. 24, 2011 3:00 p.m.

The Comox Valley may be cold, but it’s a dry cold, right?As residents continue to pile on sweaters, the end of the most recent cold snap to hit the area may be in sight, but first the temperatures may get worse before they get better.”We may be hitting a new record, or coming within a degree for Feb. 25,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Lisa Coldwells. “We’re in the grips of cold Arctic air, which is very dry.”Overnight into Friday, temperatures are predicted to hit a low of -8C at the Comox airport, which would surpass the record of -7.2 set in 1957, she noted.Coldwells added with easterly winds, which will continue to gust between 50 to 70 km/h throughout the night, windchill values will make the air feel like -18C.”Although it’s later in the season, this is not unusual. We usually get about two or three Arctic cold snaps in the winter, and we’ve really only had one so far. We had one around this time of the year in 1993, and another in 1957,” Coldwells said. Friday’s high is predicted to reach zero degrees, and though while the weekend is looking wet, Coldwells notes the temperatures should rise.”Once Pacific air gets closer, it picks up moisture and will override the Arctic air, which is expected for Saturday. Everyone should expect to get some snow, which will start in the morning but it will get a bit warmer and will change to rain by the afternoon,” she said.The predicted high for Sunday is 7C, with temperatures slowly returning to normal with a high of 8C predicted for Monday and 5C for Tuesday.At Emcon Services, crews are prepared for road cleaning and deicing as the winter weather continues to hang over the Valley, confirmed Justin Bergers, operations manager of the company’s Island division.”While the temperatures are below average, we are prepared. We didn’t get the brunt of the (most recent) storm that hit Victoria, so there’s not too much clearing or deicing,” he said.Bergers noted right now the focus is on providing traction on roadways and intersections, and making sure the material selection fits with the cooler weather.”In the really cold weather, salt is less effective, and below -6C, we don’t salt because it’s basically ineffective,” he noted, adding sand is then used to provide traction. While the air is cold, the road are typically dry, he said, and crews continue to monitor the roads, making sure to eliminate moisture from any small snowfalls.Looking ahead to March, Coldwells said temperatures should return to spring-like levels, with usual Vancouver Island conditions.”Next week it looks like a typical wet, warm February, and the beginning of March looks unsettled with rain,” she added.photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com