A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo

Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

While there may be signs of spring beginning to pop up around Vancouver Island, Environment Canada warns to not pack away the winter gear quite yet, as there is a chance the area may see snow by the weekend.

According to the weather agency, there is a slim risk of seeing some flurries or snow Wednesday overnight into Thursday (Jan. 21) in the Island’s southeastern population corridor, with the chance rising to 60 per cent Saturday overnight to Sunday (Jan. 24).

“This is the shift into winter,” explained Lisa Erven, a meteorologist for Environment Canada. “We’ve been in a persistent mild pattern for about a month and a half and this year, in particular, we should prepare well in advance. Use this week to get the snow tires on, the shovels out, toques and gloves and do some shopping early if you need to.”

Erven said despite the stormy, wet start to the new year, temperatures have been above normal, generally between 8C to 11C. Despite daffodils beginning to poke through some parts of the ground in places, she added the “quite unusual” temperatures are off the normals (usually in the single digits) because of a persistent storm pattern from the southwest.

RELATED: Nearly monthly precipitation totals to start the year in the Valley

However, the weather is looking like it may change.

“We’re finally seeing that wintertime weather with a northwesterly storm trough bringing colder air down with it,” she noted.

On Tuesday (Jan. 18), highs in the Comox Valley are expected to reach 7C and lower throughout the week. As the cold air settles in over Vancouver Island, Erven said the highs near the weekend are set to reach around the “low single digits … which is at or below normal.”

She explained there is a weak disturbance moving down the coast, and depending on cooling overnight, there is a possibility of flurries Thursday. Despite the chance, the bigger risk for snow is a system that is set to drag dry, cold air out from the interior of the province on the weekend.

“It’s a prime situation for coastal communities to see a weekend event. Currently, we’re forecasting snow at higher coastal elevations but it’s very challenging because there are so many nuances – that’s why you can see rain in one part but heavy snow accumulation in another not too far apart.”

Erven explained while some of the eastern parts of Canada may see a polar vortex (very cold air moving down from the Arctic southward) throughout the latter part of winter, it’s a technical term less used on the West Coast. The mountains help block the really cold air from infiltrating, and it takes longer for the arctic air to work its way down, she noted.

Despite the predicted winter blast, having the Pacific Ocean nearby helps ensure it will be relatively short-lived.

“Having the ocean is like having a giant bathtub sitting beside you. It helps keep the temperatures from falling drastically but we’ve still got quite a bit of winter to go. We do have to prepare ourselves for that mental shift that it is still winter.”



photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Nanaimo African Heritage Society is capping its month of Black History Month celebrations with a virtual gala on Sunday, Feb. 28. (News Bulletin photo)
Nanaimo African Heritage Society presents virtual Black History Month gala

Event to feature a variety of speakers and performers

(Black Press file)
Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools reports COVID-19 exposure at Cedar Elementary

School district says Island Health has completed contact tracing

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from the beach in rescue attempt in Nanaimo

Animal dies in spite of efforts of marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

(News Bulletin file)
RDN warns residents not to give financial info over phone

Resident hung up and called RDN after receiving call for credit card information

A crossover utility vehicle smashed through the front of a business on Bowen Road on Friday evening. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Vehicle smashes all the way into business on Nanaimo’s Bowen Road

No serious injuries reported after incident at Venue Financial Centres

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

1957 photo shows Six Mile House-sponsored #4 1932 Ford stock car with Frank Morris (from left), Ted Mackenzie, Bill Sim and driver Gerry Sylvester. (Bud Glover/Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame)
Memories race as Western Speedway approaches its finish line

‘It was life to us:’ Vancouver Island racers, crew will never forget what the track gave them

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Several BC Ferries sailings are cancelled Friday due to adverse weather. (Black Press Media File)
All B.C. Ferries sailings cancelled due to winds, adverse weather

Adverse weather causes cancellations across several BC Ferries routes

Wayne Allen's graduation photo from Chemainus Secondary School. (Photo submitted)
Brother charged with murder in Vancouver Island teenager’s Ontario death

Jesse James Allen stands accused in the death of Wayne Allen, a 2020 Chemainus Secondary grad

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing leads to stabbing in Nanaimo

Suspect arrested on Gabriola Island an hour after incident Wednesday, Feb. 24

Most Read