A Heavy Snowfall Declaration has been declared by the City of Prince George after old man winter made the northern capital into a winter wonderland.

A record of thirty-five centimeters of snow has fallen in the last 24 hours.

In addition, Environment Canada's Prince George-Massey station recorded 15 centimeters yesterday (Tuesday), which is a new record for December 21st - the previous record was 11.4 centimeters set back in 1949.

When the city receives accumulated snowfall of 20cm or more in a 24-hour period, in cooperation with the Prince George RCMP, a Heavy Snowfall Declaration is issued.

An additional 24 hours is added for every 8cm of snow the city receives beyond the threshold.

This means it will likely be Saturday before crews begin to work in residential areas.

Meteorologist Trevor Smith told the snow will now make way to more frigid temperatures.

"As we get into Christmas weekend, we are looking at low around minus thirty and minus thirty-four. The all-time December record for cold in Prince George is -48.9, which was set on December 31st, 1927."

"The colder temperatures will start tonight and really we don't see any snowfall for the next five to seven days through the Christmas weekend for sure."

Nighttime snow clearing and removal downtown and in Priority One and Priority Two areas will start an hour earlier (11:00pm instead of 12:00am).

Residents should avoid non-essential travel and if they must travel; exercise patience, drive to conditions and take extra time to plan their routes. The RCMP has advised, these conditions exist for emergency workers, as well, and it may take longer for emergency services to get to drivers in the event of an accident. Drivers should bring winter gear and an emergency kit in your vehicle with them.

Jordan Wiseman, manager of roads & fleet, stated, "With limited contacted services available, I am extremely grateful staff are willing to work through the holidays and miss time with their families to keep our roads safe."

1. Priority One routes include the City's biggest, busiest streets and boulevards, their adjacent sidewalks, and the downtown central business district and hospital district.

2. Priority Two routes include Prince George's collector roads and sidewalks as well as commercial and industrial zoning roads, laneways, and curb-adjacent sidewalks.

3. Priority Three routes include the City's residential streets, sidewalks, and park paths.