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Some parts of B.C. to feel as cold as –50 C as Arctic air blast reaches coast

Extreme cold warnings continue Thursday for much of central and northern B.C., with Arctic air now flowing over the coast, causing temperatures to plummet.

Arctic outflow warnings in place across most of B.C.'s coast, as extreme cold grips swath of Western Canada

Young woman wearing a mask and heavy hooded parka looks at her mobile phone on a cold winter day in Vancouver.

Extreme cold warnings continue Thursday for much of central and northern B.C., with Arctic air now flowing over the coast, causing temperatures to plummet.

Some communities in B.C.'s north and central Interior have been grappling with air temperatures below –40 C for much of the week, with accompanying winds making it feel as low as –50 C in some areas.

On Thursday, Environment Canada also issued Arctic outflow warnings for most of British Columbia's coast, saying strong winds could make temperatures feel as low as –30 C in some areas.

The frigid wind chill is expected to arrive Thursday night in Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria, the Fraser Valley and much of the Central and North Coast.

Air temperatures are expected to drop to –12 C in Vancouver and –10 C in Victoria. Environment Canada says the Arctic air combined with strong winds gusting to 60 km/h in the region will generate wind chill that feels like –20 C until at least Saturday.

Snow flurries are also expected across southwest B.C. on Thursday night.

Environment Canada warns frostbite and hypothermia can occur within minutes if adequate precautions are not taken when outdoors.

The weather office says the risks associated with the extreme cold are greater for children, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, those working or exercising outdoors, and people who don't have proper shelter.

The B.C. government said earlier this week that residents should prepare for hazardous road conditions, extremely cold temperatures and an increased risk of avalanches.

As of 1:30 p.m. PT on Thursday, around 10,000 people across B.C. have lost power with high winds hitting the coast.

Transit authorities, cities prepare

On Wednesday, the City of Vancouver sent out a public bulletin saying it would be preparing for the impending cold weather by brining and salting roadways and major pedestrian and bike routes, along with opening winter shelters.

"With freezing temperatures and the possibility of snow headed to Vancouver, the city is ready to help keep residents safe on streets, sidewalks and bikeways," it said.

"For those sheltering outside, the city and its partners have activated options for people to come indoors."

Morning <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Vancouver?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Vancouver</a>! ❄️Mixed rain/snow is expected for your commute.<br>Crews have prepped all major routes for potential snow/ ice.<br><br>✔️Be cautious, watch for pedestrians/cyclists &amp; drive for conditions.<br>✔️Use our traffic cams to check live road conditions: <a href="https://t.co/MmxqCmZz9N">https://t.co/MmxqCmZz9N</a> <a href="https://t.co/wD56mpievO">pic.twitter.com/wD56mpievO</a>


B.C. Housing has a tool on its website to find shelters, including for extreme weather, across the province.

Metro Vancouver's transit authority, TransLink, said it is preparing transit services for the upcoming winter weather, including by spreading anti-icing solution on trolley wires and power rails, running trains overnight to prevent snow buildup and salting all walkways at transit stations.

"Customers are encouraged to build extra travel time in their commute … and use proper footwear to avoid slips and falls," read a TransLink statement.

B.C.'s workplace health-and-safety regulator WorkSafeBC shared a warning for employers to conduct regular risk assessments to protect workers during changing weather conditions.

A WorkSafeBC spokesperson said work-related vehicle accidents occur at a higher volume, on average, in November, December and January compared to any other three-month span.

Meanwhile, Environment Canada has also issued a warning for coastal flooding due to significant waves along Metro Vancouver shorelines due, in part, to strong winds.

With files from The Canadian Press

Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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