Royann Cairns shovels the sidewalk in front of her house in Pitt Meadows on Monday

Warmer weather on the horizon

Subzero temperatures are on their way out as Environment Canada forecasts rain for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows by mid-week

The first blast of winter brought freezing temperatures, a skiff of snow and, on Tuesday, freezing drizzle.

But rain and milder temperatures should begin today, and will continue through the weekend, according to the Environment Canada forecast.

There were extreme cold weather warnings Saturday, Sunday and Monday as temperatures hovered around -9 and -10 C. With the wind chill on Saturday, the temperature felt like -20 C in some parts of the Fraser Valley. Winds gusted from 40 to 70 km/h on Saturday.

Homeless shelters across the Lower Mainland brought in people off the streets. It was cold enough to skate on the ice that formed on rural ponds.

There have been colder days in early December. The low temperature of -10.1 on Saturday was the coldest Dec. 8 in many years, but on Dec. 6 and 7, 1980 the temperature was -15C and -16C at the Pitt Meadows weather stations.

Monday morning brought trace amounts of snow and slippery road conditions. Ridge Meadows RCMP reported a few incidents of vehicles going off the road, and at about 3:30 p.m. a driver on the Langley Bypass crashed into a wooden hydro pole and sheared it off at the base. The driver was not seriously injured in that crash, nor the other fender benders.

Tuesday brought more slippery driving conditions, with a mixture of snow, rain, and freezing drizzle across the Lower Mainland.

An RCMP spokesman advised commuters to leave earlier, slow down, and “apply common sense.”

Wednesday’s forecast calls for a 70 per cent chance of flurries in the morning, followed by a 70 per cent chance of rain in the afternoon and evening, with a high of plus-three. Thursday and through the weekend the forecast calls for low temperatures that will remain above freezing, with highs ranging from 6 to 8 C, and periods of rain.

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