An extreme cold warning has been issued for the Elk Vally. Frost on a Fernie home’s window. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

BREAKING: Extreme cold warning issued for Elk Valley

Temperatures to plunge to nearly -40C; public, motorists urged to prepare

Environment Canada has issued an extreme cold warning for the Elk Valley with temperatures tipped to fall to nearly -40C.

A period of very cold wind chills is expected over the coming days as a cold Arctic airmass settles over the southern Interior.

The cold temperatures and winds will combine to produce wind chill values below -35C tonight.

Tomorrow, the wind chill values will rise slightly to almost -30C by Monday afternoon before dropping to nearly -40C.

“Extreme cold puts everyone at risk,” read the warning issued by Environment Canada on Sunday afternoon.

“Risks are greater for young children, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, people working or exercising outdoors, and those without proper shelter.”

An extreme cold warning is also in place for the Yoho and Kootenay national parks.

East Kootenay highway contractor, Mainroad, is urging motorists to prepare for winter conditions and only travel if necessary.

“Motorists are reminded to watch for cold and windy conditions, which may bring blowing snow, as well as falling branches and other debris, and slippery sections on the roadways,” it said in a release Sunday.

The cold conditions have prompted several event cancellations in Fernie.

The finals of the Jeep Junior Freeski competition were called off Sunday amid safety concerns for competitors and officials.

Fernie Alpine Resort also closed higher elevation chairlifts and cancelled all lessons.

The Community Fun Nordic Race at Elk Valley Nordic Centre was rescheduled for February 17.

For the latest weather alerts, visit Environment Canada’s website.

To report severe weather, send an email to BCstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #BCStorm.

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A family braves the cold in downtown Fernie, where the windows of many businesses were completely covered in frost Sunday. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

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