February 20, 2014 - 8:19 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN — Avalanche risk is once again high on the Coquihalla Highway, forcing the closure of the roadyway between Portia Interchange and Merritt.
The closure comes as the final wave of Pacific weather systems brings heavy snow to area highways today before a blast of Arctic air provides relief from the snow.
The Coquihalla Highway was closed for nearly a full day yesterday due to avalanche control and is facing another round of heavy snow and poor visibility. There have been several advisories in place due to heavy snow and closures due to avalanche risk over the past 10 days.
The section of highway between Hope and Merritt is expecting more heavy snow this morning and early afternoon before tapering off later today. In total, 10-15cm will fall during the day and another 5cm overnight. Over the past day 17cm has fallen at the Coquihalla Summit.
Drive B.C. is also warning travellers to exercise caution and watch for narrowed lane widths and slow moving trucks over the Coquihalla Summit.
“Travel is not recommended unless absolutely necessary,” it says on the Drive B.C. site.
In town we could get some snow today as well as over the weekend. In the southern part of the region a 60 per cent chance of rain and flurries is expected today while Kamloops has a 40 per cent chance of seeing some snow this morning. More flurries could fall over the weekend.
Highs are expected to be just above normal (4 C) today but then will drop to highs of only 0 C to 3 C for the next week. Penticton and Kamloops will both see winds gusting up to 50 km/h today as the next system is blown into the area.
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-This story was updated at 8:48 a.m., Feb. 20, 2014 to update that the travel advisory has been lifted.
-This story was updated at 11:45 a.m., Feb. 20, 2014 to add the highway closure.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014