January 3, 2017 11:29 am
Updated: January 3, 2017 4:27 pm

Warnings issued as temperatures in Metro Vancouver plunge; More snow on the way

WATCH: Ice is everywhere in Metro Vancouver. As Catherine Urquhart explains, city officials responded to more than 70 emergency calls for snow and ice removal.


Environment Canada has issued a number of weather warnings for regions like Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley with no relief in the forecast for the next few days.

In Metro Vancouver, the temperatures are expected to continue to hover below or around the freezing mark during the day for a few days. Overnight, temperatures will dip to about -7 C.

For some residents, this means they can possibly keep their street ice hockey games going at least.

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However, it’s going to be a lot colder in other areas of the province.

An Arctic outflow warning has been issued for the Fraser Valley, inland sections of the North Coast, Whistler and Howe Sound. The wind chill will make it feel like -20 C to -25 C until Wednesday afternoon in areas of the North Coast.

In Whistler, Howe Sound, and the Fraser Valley, the wind chill will make it feel like -15 C to -20 C overnight and it’s only expected to warm up slightly during the day.

Arctic outflow warnings are issued by Environment Canada when bitterly cold air flows from the interior to coastal communities and the outflow winds create wind chill values of -20 C or less for six hours or more.

Environment Canada says any outdoor activity exposes you to an increased risk of frostbite. If outside, dress warmly in layers and try to stay dry. Cover as much exposed skin as possible to avoid frostbite.

Concern for the homeless

The frigid temperatures are leading to overwhelming demand for shelter from the cold as some of the region’s most vulnerable people seek refuge.

Community centres in Vancouver are staying open overnight during this cold snap. There are no sleeping facilities but there are resources such as hot chocolate and coffee so people can come and escape from the cold.

“You get to watch TV at least, that’s a change,” said one visitor.

There are many shelters in Vancouver’s DTES but not many others dispersed throughout the city so that’s why the Park Board is keeping these facilities open overnight.

Another snowfall coming

While it’s going to remain cold until Friday in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, more snow is forecast for the end of the week. It is expected the snow will start Friday morning, with some low lying areas changing to rain Friday afternoon.

Extreme cold warning

Environment Canada has also issued an extreme cold warning for Yoho Park in the Kootenays. Very cold wind chill values of -35 C have developed overnight and it is expected to stay very cold in the region.

If you do go outside, you should wear appropriate clothing.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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