Kamloops is under three separate weather advisories from Environment Canada as wind, snow and sub-zero temperatures dominate the region.
Kamloops and the South Thompson region are under a wind warning, a blowing snow advisory and a special weather statement as whiteout conditions precede an Arctic front that will drop the mercury to rare below-30 Celsius territory.
In fact, about 90 per cent of the province is under some kind of weather advisory as of Jan. 12.
Environment Canada’s special weather statement reiterates the need for residents to prepare for bitterly cold temperatures.
“An extremely cold arctic airmass over the interior will make its way southward through the weekend. This airmass will begin to move across the central and southern interior today,” the statement reads.
“Temperatures will plummet to values not seen in years. With strong north winds, it is expected that wind chill values will reach minus 30 in the Yellowhead, Columbias and southwest interior by Monday morning.”
The weather agency’s wind warning notes “a brief period of very strong wind gusts up to 90 km/h will accompany the leading edge of the arctic air” and are expected to arrive in Kamloops in the afternoon — although the winds have already arrived in the morning. Environment Canada said the high winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break.
Environment Canada’s blowing snow advisory states: “The worst conditions are expected through the afternoon and evening. Visibility will improve through the night as snow tapers off and winds ease. Travel is expected to be hazardous due to reduced visibility in some locations. Visibility may be significantly and suddenly reduced to near zero. Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions.”
In preparation for the Arctic blast set to arrive on Sunday night and remain entrenched for at least the next week, the ASK Wellness Society in Kamloops has opened Spero House and Crossroads Inn as warming stations for the city’s homeless.
The two locations — 569 Seymour St. downtown and 433 Tranquille Rd. in North Kamloops — will be open from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for five days.