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Watch: This 'punishing cold air' is coming to Metro Vancouver with snowfall

Five days of possible snowfall are included in the forecast now.
The Metro Vancouver weather forecast includes freezing Arctic air in southern British Columbia, according to a December 2022 report by The Weather Network.

Vancouverites know how truly cold air feels when it makes its way into the Lower Mainland: it is bone-chilling, dry, and a direct departure from the milder, wetter cold they experience for the lion's share of the winter. 

Beginning this weekend, the "coldest air on Earth" will make its way across Alaska, down through the Yukon, and into southern British Columbia. 

Originating in the coldest inhabited town in the world — a village in Russia's frozen Siberia — the bitterly cold air mass made its way across the Arctic Sea, bringing sub-zero temperatures and the possibility of plentiful snowfall in the Lower Mainland.

While temperatures will plummet well below seasonal averages in Metro Vancouver, including as low as -8 C, the Prairie provinces "may struggle to climb out of the minus 30s," with some areas seeing temperatures drop down to the minus 40s. 

But exactly how will this glacial front move into the region?

While it will funnel into the region on the backside of a ridge building across western Alaska, a weather model shows exactly how the "punishing cold air" will likely make its way across North America.

The Weather Network Meteorologist Chris Murphy shared a colourful video representation of the Arctic air mass moving across the continent. The frigid air is purple, with the coldest part a deeper hue. 

Metro Vancouver weather forecast and the arrival of freezing Arctic air 

Although snowfall is expected to accompany the sub-zero temperatures, it's too early to say exactly how much of the white stuff locals can expect at sea level and on the ski hills. 

But the combination of the moist Pacific Ocean and freezing Arctic air "ultimately pose snowfall threats," notes The Weather Network. 

Heading into the weekend, the forecast includes somewhat milder weather on Saturday, with a high of 4 C and an overnight low of 1 C. On Sunday, however, cold air will bring temperatures down to a daytime high just above freezing with an overnight low of -8 C; light snow is also expected throughout the day. 

Monday is expected to be particularly cold, even during the day, with temperatures falling to a frigid -4 C that will feel more like -8 C with windchill.

More snow is expected throughout the week, with snow forecasted in various amounts through Thursday. 

Photo via The Weather Network