VANCOUVER - A high-pressure system over British Columbia is pushing arctic air and bitter cold to some areas of the province, but heavy snow is no longer in the forecast.

Environment Canada has been forecasting for days that B.C.'s south coast and parts of Vancouver Island could get more snow, but that warning has been lifted with the expectation the system will pass south of Vancouver Island.

However, a series of arctic outflow and extreme cold warnings remain in place, including a forecast of wind chill values to minus 40 for the Peace River region.

Arctic outflows are also expected in the central and northern coast regions, as well as Whistler and the eastern Fraser Valley.

Wind chill values could drop as low as minus 20 in those areas before temperatures increase later Friday.

Environment Canada says frostbite and hypothermia can occur within minutes if people don't take precautions outdoors.

Although less snow is in the forecast, the B.C. Transportation Ministry says road maintenance contractors on the Lower Mainland are preparing.

It says snow could fall during the afternoon commute as the sub-zero temperatures rise.

The ministry says crews will be out in full force, treating roads with brine in advance of any precipitation and will be ready to manage accumulations of snow.

Drivers are encouraged to plan ahead, stay off the road if weather conditions worsen, and ensure their vehicles are properly equipped with snow tires.

British Columbia's auto insurer says the number of accident claims made Tuesday, when a major snowstorm hit the south coast, was nearly double that of the same day the week before.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2022.

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