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Vancouver 'not likely to beat records' during extreme cold snap

It was still a few degrees off the coldest weather ever recorded in Vancouver.
Despite the Arctic air and extreme cold warnings, Vancouver didn't see many records broken during the January 2024 cold snap.

It got cold in Vancouver last week, but it's been colder.

Temperatures below -10 C are uncommon in Vancouver, and it dropped as low as -13.7 C on Saturday morning, Jan. 13. For comparison, on the same day last year it hit 11.2 C. Despite that, it's not one for the record books.

"We're not likely to beat records," says Environment Canada (EC) meteorologist Philippe-Alain Bergeron.

He says by any reasonable comparison, it's cold for Vancouver, but the mercury dropped further more than 70 years ago.

"On this date (Jan. 14) in 1950 it was -17.8 C at Vancouver International Airport (YVR)," he tells Vancouver is Awesome. "That was the coldest temp ever recorded at YVR."

That week in 1950 temperatures remained low.

That actually happened twice, with another cold snap in December of 1968 matching the -17.8 C record.

"That's why we're not beating that today," says Bergeron.

If it felt colder, it should be noted that those figures don't include windchill. At the same time, though, milder temperatures were recorded at Deadman's Island in Stanley Park, where EC also records some data. There it dropped as low as -10.6 C on Friday and -10.4 C on Saturday.

If it wasn't for that cold period in 1950, there's a chance Vancouver could have set a daily record in 2024.

Some records did fall in the area, Bergeron adds. On Friday, Jan. 12, in West Vancouver, it dropped as low as -12.8 C, which is a record, for example.