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.”
He said the region can expect a low of about minus 15 degrees CelsiusThursday night, 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.
A light covering of snow could be seen on the streets of Fort St. John Thursday morning as an Arctic cold front passed through the B.C. Peace region. However, Environment Canada is not forecasting any more snow in the region for the next few days.