Sub-zero weather arrives on Island, will likely stay all week

Kids went to school Monday and cyclists in winter layers pedalled along Victoria streets, lending perspective to a “winter storm” as it hit southern Vancouver Island.

Greater Victorians woke to temperatures around -4 C and only a light dusting of snow on roads. More snow fell on the Malahat, in Nanaimo and elsewhere up island.

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Environment Canada had warned of the approaching storm days earlier.

Temperatures are forecast to stay below freezing for the rest of the week, with lows down to -5 C and flurries a possibility.

Winter driving conditions are in effect throughout the south and mid Island but the commute in the capital region was smooth Monday with no major crashes and no major delays reported on B.C. Transit.

All schools in the Greater Victoria School District were open Monday.

The Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District reported all buses but one operating as normal.

Rick Gill of Mainroad South Island Contracting, responsible for maintenance of provincial highways and roads, said roads had been salted for two days prior in preparation for winter conditions.

Despite the apparent “bare and black” roads on main roads and some side roads, cold temperatures means there could be black ice, he said. “Just be cautious and take your time.”

Mid Island roads have also been generously salted and main routes are cleared but side roads may have snow, said Gill.

The City of Nanaimo said winter driving conditions exist through most of Nanaimo, and cautioned drivers to be careful on hills and when approaching traffic signals and stop signs.

Side roads were icy Monday, reported the city, and crews were out through the day, ploughing and salting.

The cold snap prompted activation of Greater Victoria’s extreme-weather response program, which opens up extra spaces for those seeking relief from the weather. The program expands the number of shelter beds from 365 up to 465.

Where to get more information


Environment Canada website —

School closures

Road conditions

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