Heavy snow expected on highway passes, avalanche risk high

Avalanche risk is high in much of the region this week.
Image Credit: Facebook

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - The avalanche risk is considered high throughout most of the region with large to very large human-triggered avalanches a main concern for forecasters over the next week.

Avalanche Canada upgraded the risk to high from considerable in the treeline and alpine areas of the Kootenay Boundary and North and South Columbia regions late Wednesday afternoon as the group issued a conditions outlook for the next week. 

Avalanche control is scheduled for Wednesday from 5 a.m. through 2 p.m. on Highway 1 in Glacier National Park and drivers can expect delays of up to two hours. Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass is also expected to get another 15 centimetres of snow tonight and there is a 60 per cent chance of flurries Wednesday.

Environment Canada says Highway 3 from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass and the Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Merritt are also expected to see upwards of 15 to 25 cm of snow overnight. The Coquihalla has been hit with about 13 cm of snow and 15 millimetres of rain in the last 24 hours.

In town there is a 60 per cent chance of flurries in Vernon Wednesday while in Kelowna and Penticton there is a 30 per cent chance of showers with a chance of flurries or rain overnight. Kamloops has a 30 per cent chance of flurries overnight Wednesday.

With the holidays already underway for many people, local search and rescue organizations have also issued tips for staying safe in the back country.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

Image Credit: Avalanche Canada

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