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No kidding, most British Columbians are dreading winter

'Tis the season for winter storm, blizzard, severe weather, snow squall, major snowfall, Arctic outflow, freezing rain and hazardous driving alerts, advisories and warnings.

Not that we want to scare you, but most British Columbians seem to be dreading winter.

A recent survey shows most of us -- 66%, in fact -- are concerned about winter storms, 52% are worried about extreme freezing and half are frightened of home and workplace fires.

These statistics pop out of a poll commissioned by First Onsite Property Restoration to highlight the need to be proactive with your home and workplace infrastructure, be weather aware and have the right insurance.

People in Alberta, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, Ontario and Atlantic Canada are all worried more about winter storms at 72%, 70%, 71% and 68%, respectively.

Quebec seems to be quite chill about winter with only 51% concerned, despite the fact that province can have some doozy snow events.

</who>One reason to fear winter is drivingĀ in a blizzard.

The survey also showed that 60% of British Columbians are concerned about the adequacy of their insurance coverage and 82% are worried about personal and family safety this winter.

These figures may be a result of winter angst bringing out the pessimist in us.

The optimist in us could be looking forward to a beautiful season of snow-dusted scenes, safe and easy driving, hikes through frost-kissed landscapes and family and social gatherings in front of the fireplace.

Either way, the First Onsite Property Restoration survey is a reminder that winter is coming and we should get ready with winter tires, snow shovels, a furnace checkup, warm clothes, sturdy boots and a can-do attitude.

While these fears may be out-of-season, the survey also showed that 76% of British Columbians are worried about wildfires, 38% about tornadoes or severe winds and 23% about hurricanes or tropical stores.

The wildfire stat is understandable especially after BC had its worst wildfire season in history this past summer, especially with blazes in the Central Okanagan forcing evacuations, incinerating homes and scorching wide swaths of forest.

In fact, the Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ) shows that 2023 in Canada is a record-breaking year for expensive weather and climate disasters with insured losses exceeding $3 billion.

</who>Another reason to be less-than-enthusiastic about winter is digging out after a snowstorm.

Accurate long-term weather forecasts are hard to come by, but the Farmers' Almanac tries.

It says BC's weather is likely to be seasonably cold and wet this winter.

That's suitably vague for a long-range prediction.

Environment Canada will only forecast seven days out and shows the Thompson Okanagan will hover around zero with some rain and wet snow under mostly cloudy skies with a peek of sun later in the week.

For Victoria, it's mild with daytime highs of 6 to 12C, some rain and the sun making an appearance on Friday.

In Prince George, expect it to get colder as the week goes on as more sun gets through with maybe some snow on Saturday.

The Weather Network predicts farther out -- 14 days -- and calls for more temperatures hovering around zero in the Thompson Okanagan through Dec. 18, Victoria getting mostly clouds and 7 to 8C daytime highs and Prince George daytime highs a couple of degrees below zero.

AccuWeather is brave enough to forecast out a month, including Christmas Day, which is expected to be -4 during daylight in the Thompson Okanagan with a mix of sun and cloud, rain and 11C in Victoria and -9 in Prince George with cloudy skies.

By the way, it may or may not be winter right now, depending on what school of thought you follow.

We're already in meteorological winter -- the entire months of December, January and February that weather forecasters like to use for easier calendar-based statistics keeping.

Astronomical winter in the Northern Hemisphere starts eigher Dec. 21 or 22, depending on when the Earth tilts farthest from the sun.

This year, it falls on the 21st in BC at 7:27 pm, to be exact.



Send your comments, news tips, typos, letter to the editor, photos and videos to [email protected].




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