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Keep those gloves handy: Environment Canada releases updated winter forecast for Metro Vancouver

Environment Canada has updated its winter forecast for 2021 and 2022 following a near record-breaking cold snap in Vancouver in December.

Are you getting sick of the cold?

Don't hold your breath. 

The federal weather forecaster warns that the frosty weather will stick around in Metro Vancouver through the weekend. Additionally, below-average temperatures are expected through the remainder of winter. 

In early December, Environment Canada Meteorologist Bobby Sekhon told Vancouver Is Awesome that the region would see a colder winter overall. However, he cautioned that every winter offers the possibility for extreme weather events, regardless of the long-term forecast. 

And while meteorologists saw somewhat of a cold snap on the horizon for the Lower Mainland in mid-December, it isn't possible to ascertain the degree of cold until much closer to the event. 

Environment meteorologist Brian Proctor told V.I.A. in a telephone interview that a weather event has several components that aren't possible to forecast too far in advance.

"We saw hints of it coming around Dec. 15," he explained. "But how much we're going to see, how strong those arctic outflows are going to get...we really have to be closer to the event to really get a better feel for what's happening."

Proctor adds that the frigid air from this cold snap should begin to make its way out of the region this weekend. However, Vancouverites should expect to see a significant snow event before that happens. In fact, the unseasonably low temperatures will mean that snow is more likely to accumulate—even at places by the water. 

Overall, the region is expected to see a "very La Niña-like winter as we move forward in time," he adds. "Wo what that tends to mean for British a cooler than normal sort of winter pattern. And probably a little bit wetter than normal, but it is less [of a] clear sort of signal in precipitation for much of the province."

That said, other weather patterns, such as pineapple expresses, may bring warm air into the region during the winter months. As such, the average temperature for the month is a compilation of weather events but doesn't tell the complete story of extreme weather patterns. 

A snowfall warning is currently in effect for the Metro Vancouver region that includes 5 to 10 cm of snowfall with the potential for heavier amounts. 

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