Avalanche risk increases on heels of windy, wet weekend
By Jennifer Stahn
A blast of winter hit Southern Interior highways Sunday.
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March 16, 2015 - 10:28 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - With spring break officially underway for students and spring-like temperatures throughout the region it may feel like spring in the valleys but this past weekend proved winter is not over just yet.
On Saturday a wind storm ripped through the region, leaving thousands without power, and while B.C. Hydro crews raced to fix the damage a system carrying rain and snow moved in. Temperatures still reached near-normal seasonal highs Sunday, but the blast of snow on Interior highways caused havoc for drivers.
According to the weather station at Allison Pass, Highway 3, more than 35 centimetres of snow has fallen in the past 24 hours, as well as some rain, while the Okanagan Connector received 12 cm of the white stuff and a bit of rain.
The weather station at the Coquihalla Summit is not online and there was little to no precipitation recorded at Helmer Lake or Highway 1 in Glacier National Park Sunday. People did take to social media to complain of long lineups on the Coquihalla Highway Sunday afternoon and evening as the snow hit though, posting pictures of hour-long lineups and icy conditions. Highway 1 south of Boston Bar closed Sunday because of rock fall.
East of Revelstoke Drive B.C. is reporting falling ice along Highway 1, as well as slippery sections. Other Interior highways are also reported as having compact snow, slushy sections and slippery sections, in addition to debris or falling rock in areas.
Over the weekend Avalanche Canada increased the avalanche risk to high in the alpine areas of the Kootenay Boundary and Purcells ranges. The alpine level of the Columbias and Glacier National Park is running a considerable risk right now and risk in the treeline elevations run either moderate or considerable throughout the region.
In town we can expect just above normal temperatures today, with Environment Canada calling for highs of 10 to 14 Celsius over the next few days. A mix of sun and could is expected throughout the region today with a chance of rain moving over the Okanagan Tuesday afternoon and evening.
Winter tires are required for travel on most B.C. Highways through the end of March.
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