Skip to content

UPDATED: Extreme cold warning issued for B.C.’s Chilcotin as temperatures plunge to nearly -40C

Icy cold, wind and chance of more snow forecast for parts of B.C.: Environment Canada
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.

But a high pressure system over British Columbia is pushing arctic air and bitter cold to several areas of B.C. along with the potential for snow and wind on Friday.

Environment Canada says an extreme cold warning is up for B.C.’s Peace River regions with forecasts of wind chill values to minus 40.

Arctic outflow warnings have been posted for B.C.’s central and northern coasts, with the wind chill predicted at minus 20.

Special weather statements are also up for most of Vancouver Island and the south coast, with icy conditions and wind chills near minus 10.

While snow had been forecast for the same areas of southern B.C., the weather office now says there are indications the system will pass offshore of Vancouver Island, but a small change in that track could bring large snowfall amounts.

Tuesday’s storm has prompted red alerts from Canada Post, indicating carriers are not delivering in parts of the Fraser Valley, Metro Vancouver and in Nanaimo and Parksville on Vancouver Island, but will try to deliver in the Comox Valley, although delays are likely.

-with a file from The Canadian Press

RELATED: Front-loaded, cold and snowy winter ahead, Weather Network forecast suggests

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Angie Mindus

About the Author: Angie Mindus

I began my journalism career in daily and weekly newspapers in Alberta.
Read more