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Metro Vancouver is being hit by an arctic outflow—here’s what to expect

Areas exposed to outflow winds are more likely to experience extremely cold wind chill values
Environment Canada has issued an arctic outflow warning for Metro Vancouver. Areas exposed to outflow winds could feel temperatures as low as -20 C. Photo: Ben Glassco

Much of the Lower Mainland is about to feel the meteorological equivalent of an elbow drop from Stone Cold Steve Austin.

An Arctic ridge of high pressure over the B.C. interior is bringing strong and bitterly cold outflow winds to Metro Vancouver Environment Canada stated in a recent weather alert. The alert applies to the City of Vancouver, Burnaby, New West, the North Shore including West Vancouver and North Vancouver, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Surrey, Langley, Richmond and Delta.

“Arctic outflow winds and low temperatures will combine to produce wind chill values near or below minus 20,” the alert reads. “Mainland inlets and areas that are exposed to outflow winds are more likely to experience these very cold wind chill values.”

The alert also warns of the possibility for frostbite and hypothermia if adequate precautions are not taken when outdoors. The federal forecaster recommends minimizing exposed skin with hats, scarves and mittens or gloves.

“Public Safety Canada encourages everyone to make an emergency plan and get an emergency kit with drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and a flashlight,” the alert continues.

The arctic flow is forecasted to last from Dec. 28-29.