Strong winds, snow, Arctic freeze, prompt travel warnings, woes, in West

VANCOUVER — Frigid temperatures have prompted Environment Canada to issue weather warnings for many parts of the British Columbia and Alberta, while snow snarled the morning commute in Metro Vancouver.

The foul weather even pinned down Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who intended to travel from Vancouver to Victoria for a meeting with B.C. Premier John Horgan but the premier's office says the two leaders will speak by video conference, instead.

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Sunday's snow across the inner south coast caused dozens of crashes, delays or closures on several highways and bridges, while as much as 25 centimetres of snow forced a number of Vancouver-area school districts, including West Vancouver and Chilliwack to cancel Monday classes.

BC Ferry routes are running as scheduled but many travellers faced lengthy delays after most sailings to Vancouver Island were cancelled Sunday.

An Environment Canada snowfall warning covers the east coast of Vancouver Island and southern Gulf Islands while extreme cold warnings are in effect for much of the central Interior, with forecasters warning bitterly cold Arctic air will stall over the region for several days.

With the wind chill, temperatures along the north coast will feel close to -20 C, while the weather office says conditions will feel closer to -40 C near Prince George and -45 C along the boundaries with Yukon and northwestern Alberta.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2020

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