Icy cold grips B.C., Prairies, territories, for days

Icy cold grips province

Frigid Arctic air has swept across most of Western Canada, delivering bone-chilling cold to much of Saskatchewan, all of Alberta, large sections of Yukon, Northwest Territories and, most uncharacteristically, much of British Columbia.

Environment Canada warns wind chill values in some Prairie and territorial regions could tumble below -50 C, while temperatures in parts of northern and central B.C. will feel only marginally warmer at -40 or -45 C.

The weather office says extreme cold warnings are expected to remain at least through Wednesday while B.C.'s south coast, where daffodils were starting to bloom last week, will face below-zero temperatures and more snow before the current system moves on.

Snowfall warnings or special weather statements are posted for much of Vancouver Island, the southern Gulf Islands, Metro Vancouver, Howe Sound and Sunshine Coast, calling for two or possibly three more snowfalls by Thursday.

Forecasters expect accumulations of up to 15 centimetres on Vancouver Island, while the inner south coast could see about 10 centimetres.

Milder conditions, including rain for the south coast and more seasonal temperatures for the Interior, are due across B.C. by the weekend.

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