Temperatures are expected to drop significantly during the final days of 2015 and through the start of the New Year.
Environment Canada’s forecast indicates Metro Vancouver will experience a prolonged period of clear and sunny skies, but temperatures will hover near the freezing mark this week with a low of -2°C.
Further away from the influence of the water, temperature lows will be well below the freezing mark: Abbotsford could expereince a low of -5°C while Whistler’s low could dip to -12°C.
The conditions are being caused by an exceptionally strong high pressure system, which is pushing away any moisture systems. While it will be cold, no precipitation is in the forecast for New Year’s Eve Vancouver’s midnight countdown fireworks in Coal Harbour and New Year’s Day’s Polar Bear Swim in English Bay.
Morning clouds lifted Monday morning to reveal the stunning white peaks of the North Shore mountains after receiving over a metre of snow in the last week. Cypress Mountain recorded 151 cm of the white stuff since last Monday and Grouse received 120 cm.
Skiers, boarders, and snowshoers will now take full advantage of fresh powder and unlimited visibility over the next week; perfect timing for the local mountains which will see even busier crowds until the school holidays wrap up on Sunday.
But those venturing outdoors, especially up into the mountains, will need to take extra precaution if they are heading into the backcountry. North Shore Rescue has experienced a record year for number of rescue calls, and with the busy season in full swing, there are a number of things you can do to avoid making that call:
Tips for mountain safety
- Tell someone where you are going, what your plans are, who is with you, and what time you will return home
- Never ski alone. Ski with a group and stick together
- If you leave the controlled ski area and enter the back-country, be prepared to stay overnight
- If you get lost, do not panic and stay where you are
- If lost, blow a whistle, light a fire and stay visible
- If going into the back-country, make sure to pack extra dry clothing, food, survival gear, including the “10 essentials”:
- Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries
- Signalling device like a flare or whistle
- Fire starter
- Extra clothes
- Shelter, like a thermal tarp
- Water and food
- First aid kit
- Navigation tools, like a compass and map, and a GPS device
- Cell phone with fully charged battery
Drivers should also be using precaution and watch out for black ice and thick frost, especially during the morning commute.
5 steps to control your car when it begins to skid
- Don’t panic, take your foot off the accelerator.
- Don’t slap on the brakes as it could lead into a tailspin. If you must use the brakes, tap on it only gently.
- Turn the steering wheel towards the direction the rear end of the car is moving, but don’t overcompensate with the steering.
- If the car rear begins to fishtail towards the other side, steer towards that direction but do it gently.
- Repeat these steps until you have corrected the skidding.