VANCOUVER — Weather warnings covered most of British Columbia on Wednesday as bitter arctic winds sent temperatures plunging, and another round of snow could add new challenges to the bone-chilling conditions.

Environment Canada posted snowfall warnings with up to 15 centimetres of snow forecast for Prince George and much of the central Interior through Thursday.

The weather office also warned that up to 10 centimetres could blanket Metro Vancouver, eastern Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast and Fraser Valley by early Thursday.

Those warnings came as forecasters said wind chill in northern B.C. made it feel like -40 C or colder, with wind chill values of -35 C in southeastern parts of the province and -20 C on the south coast.

Frigid conditions eased slightly around Greater Vancouver by Tuesday but BC Hydro said the extreme lows provincewide set a new record for peak electricity demand on Monday night, breaking a 2020 record by 325 megawatts.

A statement from the Crown-owned utility said it could meet rising electricity demands, but urged residents to relieve some of the pressure on the system by doing laundry or running dishwashers earlier in the day or later at night.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 29, 2021.

The Canadian Press