Weather relief in sight for Prince George

Fed up with hearing about COVID-19?

Tired of looking out the window and seeing snow, gray skies and the lingering effects of winter?

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Well, there is some weather relief on the way for Prince George and the Citizen turned to Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist to tell us all about it.

“People need to hear about the weather now, they’re sick of a lot of the other news and there is good news  coming up,” said Lundquist. “The story is what we’re having now is almost done. We had an Arctic front move through in the last couple of days and it’s brought a lot of cold air and it’s colliding with a warmer air over southern B.C. That’s causing the snow (in the central Interior) but it should be on the way out.”

That can’t come soon enough, as far as most people are concerned. We’re now two weeks into spring and aside from the first couple days the past month when the snow started to melt, it certainly hasn’t felt like spring.

After an overnight dump that brought heavy snow west of Prince George and turned highways treacherous,  cold wind and clouds persisted most of the day Tuesday. Windchills reached -24 C in the morning and -18C by the afternoon with a high of only -7 C.

There’s more of the same in store for the next three days under sunny skies with highs in the -6 C to -3 C range and lows of between -18 C and -16 C Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The windchill tonight is expected to drop to -26 overnight. We’re not far off the record low temperatures for this time of year, which are in the -22 C to -25 C range.

“This is really unusual to get an outbreak this cold, this late,” said Lundquist. “Prince George is dead-on average over the last 90 days because the cold periods have cancelled out the warm periods. We had a really cold spell in January (the low at Prince George Airport reached -44.2 on Jan. 15) and then it was quite warm in late-January and February, and the month of March will go out on the cold side.”

We’ll break through the freezing mark on the weekend with a predicted high of 2 C on Saturday and 6 C on Sunday, with lows of about -10C both days. By Monday, you can expect a high of 9 C with a mix of sun and cloud. The average high for this  time of year in 9 C, with an average low of -3 C.

“I think (Tuesday) is perhaps the last day for snow,” said Lundquist. “For the next three days, each day is going to be slightly warmer than the previous and there’s a lot of sun in there. Even though the nights are cold there’s a lot of power in the sun and once that snow starts melting it’ll feel much warmer soon enough - way better than where we’re at now.”

In the long-range, Lundquist expects near-normal temperatures next week, switching by mid-April to normal or slightly-above average temperatures  into June.

“It’s going to be up and down in spring, it’s a season of instability,” he said.

The 54-year-old Lundquist is self-isolating from the federal office space in Kelowna he shares with other Environment Canada meteorologists and the Canadian Wildlife Service and he’s doing his job from home, as mandated by his manager.

“I have the same number of screens but I have a better computer setup for my computer at work and it’s a little trickier,” he said. “I wish I was back in the office. We have cabin fever. You don’t realize the support structure your colleagues give you.”



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