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Extreme cold warning issued for Chilcotin as temperatures plunge to nearly -40C

Temperatures in the Cariboo Chilcotin will remain well below average for the next week
Jennifer Toland of Eliguk Lake Lodge in the Chilcotin captured the cold perfectly in this photo taken during a similar cold snap in years past, like the cold weather the region is experiencing Dec. 1 2022, where Puntzi Mountain in the coldest spot in B.C. (Jennifer Toland photo)

Environment Canada issued an extreme cold warning for B.C.’s Chilcotin this morning as temperatures plunged to nearly -40C.

“Extremely cold wind chill values near -40C are expected this morning. Wind chill values will moderate during the day. Dress warmly. Dress in layers that you can remove if you get too warm. The outer layer should be wind resistant,” noted the warning.

Environment Canada further noted that frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with wind chill.

Puntzi Mountain — roughly halfwy between Williams Lake and Bella Coola — was the coldest spot in B.C. this morning, with Environment Canada reported a temperature of -38.8C at 7 a.m., , Dec. 1.

A temperature of -28.9C was recorded in Williams Lake Thursday morning (Dec. 1) at 7 a.m., with a daytime high of -20C expected. The city was blanketed by about 16 cm of snow since Nov. 29.

Quesnel was slightly warmer at -27.5C Thursday morning at 7 a.m., with a forecasted daytime high of -21C.

In the Bella Coola Valley, meanwhile, an Arctic outflow warning is in effect for inland sections due to frigid temperatures and windchill.

Bella Coola reached -13.9C overnight (Nov. 30-Dec.1) and will only warm up to -12C. Windchill will make it feel much colder.

Cariboo Chilcotin temperatures are expected to stay in the deep freeze for the next few days.

In stark contrast, the warmest spot in the province Thursday morning was at Sheringham Point on the southwest coast Vancouver Island with a temperature of 2.4C.

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Angie Mindus

About the Author: Angie Mindus

A desire to travel led me to a full-time photographer position at the Williams Lake Tribune in B.C.’s interior.
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