However, the snowfall was light and by mid-morning the skies around much of the region had mostly cleared. Doug Lundquist, a warning preparedness meteorologist for British Columbia and the Yukon with Environment Canada, said the current weather conditions are the result of an Arctic cold front moving through the region, which is not unusual at this time of the year, and doesn’t usually result in much snowfall.
“You don’t usually get a whole lot of snow with the passage of the cold front, maybe a couple of centimetres here and there in the Peace country, but the problem is now you’re heading for cool weather for the next few days,” said Lundquist.
He said the region can expect a low of about minus 15 degrees Celsius tonight (Thursday), and a high of only minus five for Friday.
“That being said, the cold air won’t stick around too long because the flow is switching more westerly for the weekend, so we might start to see temperatures during the daytime popping back above zero for Saturday and Sunday, with some sunshine mixed in there.”
Environment Canada is forecasting a mix of sun and cloud going into early next week with temperatures hovering between six degrees and minus nine degrees Celsius. Lundquist said beyond that, it is hard to predict when the region might experience its next snowfall, but it wouldn’t be unusual for this time of year to start seeing frequent snowfalls.
He said according to the seasonal forecast for the core of winter – December, January and February – there is a 60 to 70 per cent chance that the Peace region will experience colder-than-average temperatures. He said that is partly due to a phenomenon called La Nina that affects the Pacific region, though that might be offset somewhat by a warming climate overall. He added that is the most probable scenario, though there is a lot of variability that could change that seasonal forecast.
He said that forecast does not predict the amount of snowfall expected because that is much more variable and dependant on specific storm patterns.
With wet and slippery conditions on their way for the region’s roads, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has published the following tips on driving in poor conditions:
To increase the traction of your drive wheels on slippery surfaces during acceleration, reduce power and accelerate gently.
To reduce a braking skid that occurs when conventional brakes lockup, reduce brake pressure and pump the brakes gently. In a cornering skid, reduce power and speed, don’t brake and steer in the direction you want to go.
Don’t use cruise control in wet or slippery conditions. Snow, ice, slush and rain can cause wheel-spin and loss of control. The only way to stop it is to reduce power. However, an activated cruise control system will continue to apply power, keeping your wheels spinning. By the time you turn off your cruise control, it may be too late for you to get control of your steering again.
An antilock braking system (ABS) allows you to maintain vehicle stability and directional control, and may reduce stopping distances during hard braking — particularly on wet and icy roads. However, ABS does not allow you to stop on a dime. In order for ABS to function properly, apply hard and continuous pressure to the brake pedal until the vehicle stops. Do not pump the brakes, as this action turns the system on and off.
Electronic stability control (ESC) helps you keep controlof your vehicle during high-speed turns or on slippery roads, but remember that ESC can’t override a vehicle’s physical limits. If a driver pushes the possibilities of the vehicle’s handling too far, ESC can’t prevent a crash. Like anti-lock brakes, it’s a tool to help you maintain control.