A woman walks along Yale Road near Broadway Street through heavy snow on Monday morning.

A woman walks along Yale Road near Broadway Street through heavy snow on Monday morning.

Chilliwack faces the snowiest January in years

Icy outflow winds are making the windchill as low as -23 C in Chilliwack, due to an arctic ridge of high pressure building in the Interior.

It’s not exactly snow-mageddon in Chilliwack, but there’s a significant accumulation of snow on the ground, with arctic outflow winds and flurries sweeping across the eastern Fraser Valley.

Tuesday morning was declared a snow day by many local schools, with another 5 to 10 cm of snow in the forecast.

A break in the snowfall is being called for the afternoon, but an arctic outflow warning puts the windchill as low as -23 C, due to an arctic ridge of high pressure building across the B.C. Interior.

Meetings were cancelled, the library was closed and curbside garbage and recycling collection was postponed until next week, when residents can put out twice as much garbage.

Monday’s overnight total of 14 cm brought the total on the ground in Chilliwack to 41 cm (or about 16 inches), and the total for the month at 65.6 cm (almost 26 inches), said Roger Pannett, volunteer weather observer for Environment Canada.

That officially makes it the snowiest January on record since 74 cm was measured in January 2002.

With a light to moderate east winds, not too much snow drifting was occurring, Pannett reported early Tuesday. But that’s changing as more blowing snow and flurries are expected tonight and Wednesday.

With temperatures hovering around -11 C in the last 24 hours, it’s more than 8 degrees below normal, making it the coldest January temperature in seven years. The record low for the day was -14.4 C set back in 1907.

City of Chilliwack has 10 snowplows with sanders working around the clock in 12-hour shifts since Friday. They’re striving to keep the main roads clear on a priority system, with more details at www.chilliwack.com by clicking on the ice and snow program link. Weather forecasts and warnings at www.weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca and road conditions at www.drivebc.ca.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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