Digging out Friday morning in downtown Lake Cowichan following the second heavy snowfall in the area in less than a week.

Digging out Friday morning in downtown Lake Cowichan following the second heavy snowfall in the area in less than a week.

Electricity records set as cold grips the Lake

There’s been plenty of snow in some areas, Cowichan Lake included, and the temperatures

There’s been plenty of snow in some areas, Cowichan Lake included, and the temperatures have now dipped to below freezing, where they are expected to stay for at least the rest of the week.

“We’ll be going into a relative deep freeze for the south coast of B.C.,” said Environment Canada’s Armel Castellan.

“We’re going to be seeing temperatures of down to -8 or -10 overnight with maybe highs of even below zero. That will be quite fresh, but from Monday onward to at least Friday, it doesn’t look like very much in the way of any kind of precipitation. That’s what happens. The ridge builds and then flows out to the coast and if storms aren’t meeting it, there’s the opportunity for that cold air to remain and be dry and fairly clear,” he continued.

The Cowichan Valley School District declared a “snow day” Friday, to the delight of students and many staffers, too.

By the numbers it’s clear that higher up meant more snow.

Shawnigan Lake had an accumulation of 13 cm by midmorning, on the Malahat they were reporting with at least       10 cm and Ladysmith at 10 cm, with Lake Cowichan at 15 cm at least.

“The elevation keeps things cold enough and there’s then the little bit of enhancement with the orographic nature of being in the hills. That makes all the difference. Down in Vic West where I live, we even got six cm overnights which validates our warning criteria of five centimetres in six hours,” according to Castellan

Castellan predicted that higher points in the Valley could be very scenic.

“It’s going to be stunningly beautiful up at Lake Cowichan. I’m jealous actually. For the Cowichan Valley for sure there will be more of a sense of crystal beauty,” he said.

BC Hydro reported Friday that demand for electricity reached new high for 2016 as freezing temperatures continue.

Between 5 and 6 p.m. on Thursday, a new record was set for usage province wide.

Electricity demand increased by 18 per cent.

That’s nearly 1,500 megawatts higher than last Thursday’s peak demand.

The record set in November 2006 of 10,113 megawatts remains firmly in place but BC Hydro expects demand will remain higher than normal as the cold weather continues.