Over the past week, the weather in the North Thompson Valley has been pretty awful: bitterly cold, windy and snowy. On Sunday, Jan. 15, Barriere started at a balmy minus -2° C degrees, but from there it went downhill as an Arctic front moved in; by Monday morning we were at minus -12° C.
On Tuesday, Barriere recorded a temperature of minus -18° (not counting the windchill); on that day in Watson Lake, Yukon, temperatures dropped to minus -51°, and in the North Thompson it was a minus -35° with the windchill. Sun Peaks marked a minus – 40° windchill.
On Wednesday, at 7 a.m., Louis Creek reported a temperature of minus -29°, with a windchill of minus -35°. It was so cold that the McLure school bus was unable to start and could not pick up the students for the day’s classes. In Barriere the official temperature was recorded as minus -25°, not counting the windchill.
Thursday morning’s temperature was minus -25°, before windchill, but by noon it had started to improve, to minus -19°. In the afternoon a winter storm watch was posted by Environment Canada for the North Thompson, forcasting “…significant snow and a risk of freezing rain for Friday and into Saturday.” The alert also advised the weather system had the potential to produce areas of heavy snow with 20 to 30 cm for the southeastern areas and 10 to 15 cm for the southwestern regions; also advising that mountain passes could see even more significant amounts.
By last Friday morning the winter storm watch had been upgraded to a “snowfall warning” for both the North and South Thompson, advising a possible total snowfall accumulations of 10 to 20 cm through the night.
Valley residents were happy to wave goodbye to the Arctic front, and all in all, the whole week was a great time for those who could, to stay indoors, curl up with a good book or a movie and wait for warmer weather to appear.