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Extreme cold blankets Cariboo Chilcotin, -35C in Williams Lake

Wind chills into the -40Cs
Arctic air continues its group on the central Interior as seen here in Williams Lake Dec. 27. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Extreme cold weather has settled in over much of B.C., including the Cariboo Chilcotin where -35C has been recorded at the Williams Lake Airport Monday morning (Dec. 27), -37C at Puntzi Mountain.

Environment Canada is calling for a prolonged period of very cold wind chills during the holiday week. An extreme wind chill of at least -43 in Williams Lake is expected this morning.

The extreme cold has shut down the local ski hill during a time when families traditionally head to the hill, and has curbed other popular outdoor holiday activities such as ice fishing, outdoor skating, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

On Boxing Day, Bella Bella and Bella Coola set daily minimum temperature records:

Environment Canada noted Bella Bella area set a new record of -15.2C. The old record of -5.7C was set in 2012. Records in this area have been kept since 1977.

The Bella Coola area set a new record of -18.9C. The old record of -17.2C was set in 1937. Records in this area have been kept since 1895.

Environment Canada issues extreme cold warnings when very cold temperatures or wind chill creates an elevated risk to health such as frost bite and hypothermia.

Anyone having to go outside should watch for cold-related symptoms: shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle pain and weakness, numbness and colour change in fingers and toes. Cover up. Frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with wind chill.

Check on older family, friends and neighbours. Keep emergency supplies in your vehicle such as extra blankets and jumper cables. If it’s too cold for you to stay outside, it’s too cold for your pet to stay outside.

All of Alberta and most of British Columbia and Saskatchewan, along with parts of Manitoba and Ontario are under extreme cold weather warnings.

Read More: Western Canada under extreme cold warning, wind chill reaching -55 C

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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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