December 03, 2013 - 9:49 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – We were warned it was coming but for those in the northern part of the region being warned is little consolation when you wake up to cold temperatures and strong winds like Kamloops is seeing this morning.
Environment Canada warned late last week an Arctic cold front would be moving into the area Sunday and Monday, bringing with it winds, snow and cold temperatures, then yesterday morning a special weather statement was issued warning of heavy snow for the southern highway passes.
In Kamloops winds are already gusting to 55 kilometres per hour and will gust as high as 70 km/h and the rest of the region will see winds increase to 40 km/h gusting to 60 km/h later today. Temperatures will drop to -6 Celsius in Kamloops and Vernon and in Kelowna and Penticton temperatures will hold steady around 0 C before dropping overnight. The mercury will drop to as low as -16 C in the region while highs will range from -4 C on the warmest day to -11 C on the coldest day this week.
Not all highways saw the expected 15-35 centimetres of snow last night but Highway 3 did receive 25 cm and Highway 5 saw as much as 17 cm at the Coquihalla Summit. Only 4 cm fell on the Pennask Summit Okanagan Connector overnight, though the area is now under heavy snowfall.
Most Okanagan highways are experiencing slippery sections, compact snow and heavy snowfall this morning as the winds start to increase and temperatures continue to fall.
Power outages in the Kamloops region have also left nearly 1,200 customers without power this morning in the Rosehill, Barnhartvale and Savona areas and in Salmon Arm nearly 5,000 customers are without power. B.C. Hydro has not yet named a cause but strong winds have been prominent all morning.
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This story was last updated at 9:45 a.m.,Dec. 2, 2013 to include current B.C. Hydro power outages information.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013